MINUTES - PLANNING COMMISSION -
REGULAR MEETING - AUGUST 20, 2013
regular meeting of the Morris Planning Commission was called to order at 5:15
p.m. this 20th day of August, 2013, in the Council Chambers of the
Morris Senior Citizens/Community Center by Chairperson Kuchenreuther.
OF THE ROLL:
Roll call was taken with the following members present: Commissioners
Hoffman, Rudney, Granger, Livingston, Kurpiers, Gades and Chairperson
Kuchenreuther. Also present were Ex-officio Miller and City
Manager/Zoning Administrator Hill.
AND APPROVAL OF 7/16/13 REGULAR MEETING MINUTES: Commissioner Rudney moved,
seconded by Livingston, to approve the minutes of the 7/16/13 regular meeting
as submitted. Motion carried unanimously.
North Apostolic Christian Church Conditional Use Permit Request: This
hearing is on a request for a Conditional Use to allow a Church in an R
(Residential) zone pursuant to Section 11.30, Subd. 2, C (1) of the Morris City
Code. This request is by Morris North Apostolic Christian Church, and the
property is legally described as 2 124 42 11.03, Lot C of S ½, SE
¼. This Conditional Use, if granted, would allow Morris North
Apostolic Christian Church to construct a Church in an R (Residential)
Manager/Zoning Administrator Hill indicated he has received no calls or
comments regarding this request. He has discussed this project with the
architect and Building Official, and has not identified any issues that need to
be addressed by the Planning Commission.
Rudney asked if there are existing sewer and water services to the
property. Hill indicated there are no existing sewer and water services
to the property, but a right-of-way extension of Eleanor Avenue will allow the
utilities into the property.
request is to build a church on the southern portion of the property.
Ex-officio Miller inquired if the church also owned the northern portion of the
property. Micah Zeltwanger, representing the Morris North Apostolic
Christian Church, indicated they do own the entire parcel, however Zeltwanger
indicated the scope of this project is to build a church on the southern
Rudney asked if there were any runoff issues, and questioned if the property
was low toward the northern end. Reed Becker of WSN, the engineering firm
working on this project with the Apostolic Christian Church, indicated there
will be a pond built to collect water, so the water will be controlled and
there will not be any runoff issues. Chairperson Kuchenreuther asked if
there would be any vegetation in the pond. Becker indicated there will be
as it is designed to be a wet pond so it won�t dry out.
indicated she would like dark sky compliant lighting to be a condition of the Conditional
Use Permit. Becker indicated they will be using dark sky compliant
lighting. Granger asked if there is a lighting plan. Becker
indicated it is being worked on.
asked if they are planning to install a sign. Becker indicated there will
probably be a sign, and it would be discreet with no uplighting.
asked what is located between the building and where the utilities come into
the property. Becker indicated it is a swale for water to drain.
asked if conditions put on the Conditional Use Permit are part of the building
permit. Hill indicated they are part of the Conditional Use Permit.
He pointed out there are performance standards in the Code that also need to be
followed, and if there are conditions on the Conditional Use Permit, they
should be for something specific and enforceable. Rudney asked how it is confirmed
that the conditions have been met. Hill indicated a better question might
be what happens if the conditions are not met. He indicated the main purpose
of a condition should be to protect the surrounding area from noise, smell, or
asked about screening. Becker indicated they will add some trees as a
buffer to neighboring homes. Hill indicated there is specific language on
screening in the Code.
asked if there would be any bells chiming at the church. Becker indicated
there will be no bells.
asked if this request is only for a church. Hill indicated this request
is for a church only. If a cemetery were to be built, it would require a
conditional use permit.
Granger inquired about the number of parking spaces planned. Becker
indicated there will be about 100 parking spaces.
Hanson, 12 Thomas Street, wanted to confirm that it is not the plan to extend
Eleanor Avenue to the south. Becker indicated they do not plan to extend
Eleanor, just put in utilities. Hill indicated it could be extended in
the future, but not with this request. Granger indicated it
would be logical to eventually extend Eleanor.
Dingman, 104 Thomas Street, asked if the pond planned by the Church will
collect all the water on their property. He indicated he has lived at
this location for 34 years, and a lot of water collects on the north side of
the Church property, along with in his back yard. Becker indicated the
pond will collect the water from the church area and it will not run off the
side. Leonard Hanson, 12 Thomas Street, indicated the pond the Church
is planning is on the south side of the Church property, and they live on the
north side of the property. He questioned if a berm could be built to
drain the water behind their homes. Miller indicated that the water on
the north side of the Church property will continue to go where it is presently
going. Miller suggested the possibility of putting in a storm water
utility when the other utilities are being constructed. Hill pointed out
the utilities being installed will only be water and sewer, and not storm
sewer. However, he indicated the City could look into that. Becker
indicated they do plan to install some catch basins.
Williams, 400 Birch Avenue, asked if the north end of the property will be
tilled or vegetation. Zeltwanger indicated it has been vegetation, but
they tilled it up recently. He will bring this question up to the Church
asked if Birch Avenue will need to be redone. Ann Williams, 400 Birch Avenue,
indicated she is concerned with the extension of Birch Avenue to Highway 9, as
snow drifts in there and it is quite treacherous. Becker indicated the
building and landscaping that will be constructed will create a windblock that
may block that area. Hill indicated there are no plans to redo Birch
Avenue, but the City could take a look at it.
Anderson, 8 Thomas Street, asked if the public could see a map showing the
layout of the Church on the property. Becker provided the map.
Kurpiers asked if there are any screening or vegetation plans on the west side
of the north 1/3 of the property. Hill indicated there is no requirement
to screen open space. Performance standards provide for parking lot
screening. Becker noted there are 5 rows of trees in this area, part of
which are owned by the Church. They do intend to keep the trees on their
Rudney moved, seconded by Hoffman, to recommend to the City Council that the
Conditional Use Permit for the Morris North Apostolic Christian Church be
approved with the condition they use dark sky compliant lighting. Motion
Wilcox was present. He indicated he is at this meeting to represent 5-6
businesses on East 7th Street regarding the rezoning of East 7th
Street. Hill indicated East 7th Street was rezoned from
Highway Business (HB) to Multi Family Residence (RM) in 2011, and all property
owners were sent notice of the hearing. Sid Wilcox indicated he did not
receive notice of that hearing.
is trying to sell his building at 525 East 7th Street. His
understanding after meeting with City Manager Hill is that he cannot sell his
building, rather it has to be demolished. Hill said he did not say it has
to be demolished. Hill indicated the building is non-conforming in the RM
zone, and Sid Wilcox can sell the building to be used as the business for which
it is presently used. Granger indicated the building does not have to be
demolished. Sid Wilcox feels he cannot do anything with his
indicated there is a difference between a business and a building. This
building has been used as a storage building, and can continue as a storage
building. It could also be converted to any other use allowed in the RM
Wilcox indicated she and her husband would like to move their business into
that building, but Hill told them he didn�t want their business in the City
limits. Hill indicated he never said he didn�t want their business in the
indicated he didn�t think a house would even fit on the lot.
Kuchenreuther stated a story or story and a half house could be built on this
commented that the City approved two massage parlors on 7th
Street. Hill indicated the City does not license massage parlors.
indicated the Planning Commission did study zoning over a 3-4 year period and eventually
changed some zoning in the City. She explained the purpose of zoning is
to try separate different uses such as commercial, industrial and
residential. Hill noted that 7th Street is no longer a
indicated he has thought about this long and hard and one thing to do would be
for the property owners to petition the Planning Commission to change the
zoning, which involves following a legal process.
Wilcox indicated they have a 7,500 square foot building in the Industrial Park
that is too much space for what they need at this time. They have someone
interested in the property, but can�t find a place to relocate their small
manufacturing business. She stated with both East 7th Street
and Pacific Avenue being rezoned they can�t find a place to go.
Kuchenreuther indicated Pacific Avenue is zoned I2, and would fit their use. Kathy
Wilcox stated her concern is that there is no place for businesses to go in
Morris. Kuchenreuther noted there are places that are zoned correctly for
their business, but they may not be for sale. Hill noted there is
property available at the corner of Highways 28 and 59.
Wilcox indicated there is a party interested in his property that wants to put
an art studio in, and Hill says they can�t do it. Sid Wilcox also
indicated Brown Wilbert Vault Company would like to expand their business, and
Hill also turned them down. Hill rebutted that he explained to the President
of Brown Wilbert that under the current zoning, they could not add on to their
building, but they could certainly purchase the property.
indicated one of the criteria the Planning Commission has to use when
considering a zoning variance or conditional use permit is whether or not
allowing the variance would create an undue hardship if the property owners are
not allowed to do what they want.
Wilcox noted they would have to make a considerable investment in order to move
into Sid Wilcox�s building.
indicated it is disturbing no one came to talk to the Planning Commission when
the public hearing was held on the zoning. Rich Buro, owner of the Wash N
Go Laundromat at 702 East 7th Street, stated the public notice never
told him he couldn�t sell his building.
Wilcox indicated the President of Brown Wilbert told him this morning that the
business will leave Morris if they are not allowed to expand. Hill
indicated Brown Wilbert does not have a plan for expansion at this time.
615 East 7th Street, indicated he has lived on 7th Street
for 40 years, and when 7th Street was rebuilt, all the property owners
on the north side of the street paid for it because all the property on the
south side was exempt from paying assessments. During the 40 years they
have lived there, they assumed this property was their retirement fund, and now
he feels the City is taking that away from them. Werk feels his property
has been devalued. Werk also commented housing will be limited because
the developer on the school property wants a non-compete clause for
housing. Hill indicated that is not true, as the developer wants a
non-compete clause for assisted living, not housing. Any non-compete
clause would only be on the school property.
stated that if any property owners have any ideas or concrete requests for the
Planning Commission they should contact Hill, or petition the Planning
Commission to have it rezoned.
Wilcox stated that with the action the Planning Commission has taken at this
meeting, his property on East 7th Street will no longer be mowed,
nor will he pay taxes on the property. He indicated the City will end up
with it and have to tear it down.
Hoffman stated his opinion is that the property owners could petition for a
zoning change, and the Planning Commission will work to come to a consensus
that works for everybody. Miller indicated he agrees.
Wilcox stated she feels the reality is that the City is lacking more in
business space than residential space.
ADJOURNMENT: There being no further
business, Commissioner Rudney moved, seconded by Gades, to adjourn. Motion
carried and the meeting adjourned at 6:50.