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The regular meeting of the Morris Planning Commission was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 15th day of February, 2011, by Chairperson Kuchenreuther in the Council Chambers of the Morris Senior Citizens/Community Center.

CALL OF THE ROLL:  Roll call was taken with the following members present:  Commissioners Johnson, Gades, Livingston, Hoffman and Chairperson Kuchenreuther.  Commissioners Granger and Rudney were absent.  Also present were City Manager/Zoning Administrator Hill and Ex-officio Miller.

ELECTION OF CHAIRPERSON AND VICE CHAIRPERSON:  Commissioner Johnson moved to nominate Kuchenreuther as Chairperson and Rudney as Vice Chairperson for 2011.    With all present voting in favor, motion carried.

READING AND APPROVAL OF 11/16/10 REGULAR MEETING MINUTES:  Commissioner Gades moved, seconded by Johnson, to approve the 11/16/10 regular meeting minutes as presented.  Motion carried.


OTHER BUSINESS:  Zoning Process Update:  Hill indicated he has talked with representatives of Morris, Framnas and Darnen Townships regarding the proposed zoning map.  Chuck Lesmeister of Morris Township was present at the meeting. 

Hill indicated he and an AmeriCorps student that is working with him have been reviewing records in the building inspector�s office.  They came across a number of useful maps.  A conclusion Hill has come to is that the ½ mile has never been zoned and the entire area outside City limits is RF (Farm Residence).  Hill noted the area outside City limits that the City has zoning control over is not truly ½ mile, rather it is a designated zone with legal descriptions.

Hill indicated in addition to designating zoning outside of City limits, the proposed zoning map includes some changes inside City limits.  He proposes two separate hearings on the proposed changes – one for the areas outside of City limits and one for the areas inside City limits.  He noted that when the Planning Commission was working on the zoning map, it tried to establish where they wanted certain uses to end up in the City.   Commissioner Johnson asked if the ½ mile would be a moving line.  Hill indicated it would not, as there is an agreement with the Townships that establishes the area the City can zone outside of City limits.  The agreement provides that once a certain percentage of an area is developed, the City can give notice to have the line moved.

Hill noted the easiest place to allow the development of new residential areas is where City utilities already exist. 

Johnson noted the Planning Commission has tried to develop a proposed zoning map that would not injure or upset anyone.  Hill pointed out the proposed map has been developed based on where the Planning Commission would like to see things, not based on who owns them. 

Lesmeister asked if, at this point, the City is planning to move the ½ mile jurisdiction out further.  Hill indicated the City is not planning on any annexation.  He pointed out everything that is currently in place would be grandfathered in. 

Miller indicated that when the City annexed land in 2007, many of the township people felt it was just shoved at them.  Hoffman stated the Planning Commission is just doing the best it can, and trying to keep communication open with the Townships. 

Kuchenreuther suggested that the �hole� in the City limits on the east side of town be annexed.

Hill indicated he is planning to hold the hearing with the townships in April at the high school auditorium.  Lesmeister suggested making it known the City is not planning to move any boundaries.

Variance Legislation Update:  Hill indicated he does not think there�s a hearing scheduled on this item at this time.  He indicated the legislation proposed contains language that gives local government authority to impose conditions on the granting of a variance.  Several business groups have objected.

Wind Turbines:  Discussion was held on wind turbines.  It was the consensus that the Planning Commission should make a recommendation to the City Council on a wind turbine ordinance.  Kuchenreuther indicated she will also work on the outdoor wood burning ordinance.  She feels the sensible thing is to not allow outdoor wood burning furnaces, given the health hazards and the fact that the technology on them is constantly changing. 

ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, Commissioner Gades moved, seconded by Livingston, to adjourn.  Motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 6:15.

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