MINUTES – PLANNING
COMMISSION – REGULAR MEETING – MAY 15, 2012
regular meeting of the Morris Planning Commission was called to order at 5:15
p.m. this 15th day of May, 2012, by Chairperson Kuchenreuther in the
Council Chambers of the Morris Senior Citizens/Community Center.
OF THE ROLL:
Roll call was taken with the following members present: Commissioners
Gades, Rudney, Kurpiers, and Chairperson Kuchenreuther. Commissioners
Granger, Hoffman and Livingston were absent. Also present were Ex-officio
Miller and City Manager/Zoning Administrator Hill.
AND APPROVAL OF 4/17/12 REGULAR MEETING MINUTES: Commissioner Rudney moved,
seconded by Kurpiers, to approve the minutes of the 4/17/12 regular meeting as
presented. Motion carried.
Free Church Variance Request: This hearing is on a request for a
zoning variance from Section 11.24, Subd. 2 D 5 (a) of the Morris City Code
which requires a 25� front yard setback in a multiple family residence (RM)
zone. This request is by Morris Evangelical Free Church, 901 Scotts
Avenue, legally described as Beginning on S. line SE ¼ 942.6� E. of SW
corner, N. 5 Deg. 16� W. 500�, E�ly 348.8� S. 500� to S. Sec. Line, W. 302.1�
to Pt. of Beg. Lot B of SE ¼, parcel number 20-0014-000. This
variance, if granted, would allow an addition to the Evangelical Free Church
within 10� of the front yard line.
explained that in the past he has written up the approved variances at the Planning
Commission meeting when they were approved. He has learned that the
findings for approving variances are to be more detailed, so he will be writing
them up after the meetings from now on.
Flaten was present representing the Evangelical Free Church. He handed
out information regarding two scenarios for their addition. Their
preferred choice would be the scenario where they would need the variance, and
this is a 50� X 80� addition onto the east portion of the church. The
estimated cost for this addition is $528,600. The second scenario would
be a 65� X 130� addition onto the south portion of the church. The
estimated cost for this addition would be $1,260,000.
asked about the septic system and wells on the property. Flaten indicated
they plan to pull out the current septic system and hook into the City�s sewer
at West 8th Street. The wells noted on the map are for their
geothermal heating system.
church owns all the property south to West 8th Street.
asked if the City intends to extend Scotts Avenue to the south. Hill
indicated the City has never discussed extending Scotts Avenue, however, it is
still platted. In order for the street to be extended, the owners of the
adjacent properties would have to petition the City to build the street, and
the owners would be responsible for paying for the work. Ex-officio
Miller asked if the Evangelical Free Church has ever discussed developing and
selling off the property they own on the south side of the church. Flaten
indicated that has never been discussed.
noted the church�s preferred scenario with the addition to the east of their
current building would put their building 10� from their property line.
There is a right of way between the property line and street.
indicated there are other precedents with churches being close to the street,
e.g., First Lutheran Church on East 5th Street, which she does not
feel poses a problem. Rudney pointed out the Evangelical Free Church is
in more of a rural setting. Kuchenreuther feels there may be fewer than 10
developable lots along the east side of Scotts Avenue if it were extended.
asked what the vertical profile would be of the addition to the east.
Flaten indicated the gable would be toward the street, and it would be about 2�
above the current roof line.
Fuchs, 507 West 10th Street, was present and indicated he lives
three houses from Scotts Avenue. He indicated his only concern with this
addition is the water in the area. He asked if there would be a basement
under the addition. Flaten indicated there will be no basement.
asked if there is a plan to increase parking spaces with the preferred
option. Flaten indicated there is no plan to add any parking spaces with
the preferred option.
Fehr, 26339 470th Avenue, indicated he thinks the biggest concern is
the difference in cost between the two options.
asked if there are other portions of the more expensive option that would have
to be added to the preferred option. Flaten indicated at this time their
focus is on the sanctuary expansion.
stated that assuming the church will not have to expand their parking lot with
the preferred option, one could argue that would be a benefit, along with not
having to remove any trees. Kurpiers noted that one maple and one ash
tree would be removed with the preferred option.
noted he did not receive any calls regarding this request.
was present and indicated he worked on the drainage for the church. He
stated they ran a line from West 8th Street to the parking
lot. He stated they diverted water away from the parking lot and to the
open ditch by West 8th Street. Hill indicated he would
recommend granting this variance.
Rudney moved, seconded by Gades, to approve the variance request for the 50� X
80� addition to the Evangelical Free Church and allow them to be within 10� of
their property line. With all present voting in favor, motion carried.
Variance Requests: Hill indicated that Riverview, LLP was issued
variances in March of this year to build new homes at 16 East 4th
Street and 15 South Street. Each property was issued a variance to be 6�
into the 25� front yard setback requirement. The problem is that they
have installed the plumbing and foundations for these properties 19� from the
curb, not from their property line. This has resulted in the foundations
being extremely close to the street.
indicated there are two options, the first being requiring them to tear out the
foundations and plumbing and relocate them to the correct location, and the
second being allowing the homes to be built in the wrong places. Hill
stated there would be no way to park a pickup in the driveway of these homes,
as they would stick out into the street. He has talked to Lyle Grimm of
Riverwood, LLC, and Grimm has indicated they could reconfigure the garage so
that it opens to the alley instead of the street.
indicated the map used at the hearing for the variance request does show that
the homes are 19� from Oregon Avenue instead of the 19� setback from the
property line. Hill noted that in the future the City needs to make sure
property owners have their property lines, right of way, and the roads clearly
marked and identified.
noted that the garage next to one of these properties is as close to the street
as the Riverview foundation.
noted that on the South Street house there is a pipe going out to the
north. He questioned what that was for. Rudney indicated all the
duct work for the East 9th Street property Riverview constructed
last year is under the slab and that may be what the pipe is for.
the City�s building official did inspect the plumbing at both sites.
moved, seconded by Rudney, to allow the mistakes on placement of these homes to
remain as long as the garages are reoriented to approach the alley. With
all present voting in favor, motion carried.
Landscaping Update: Hill sent an email to County Coordinator Giese
regarding this issue. On the landscaping plan, trees were to be planted
in the islands, but lights have been placed in the islands. At this point
the only thing incomplete is planting shrubs in the islands. Hill is
still working with Giese on this matter.
indicated he has met with Engin Sungur at the UMM regarding updating the
statistical information in the Comprehensive Plan.
ADJOURNMENT: Commissioner Gades moved,
seconded by Kurpiers, to adjourn. Motion carried and the meeting
adjourned at 6:15.