MINUTES - PLANNING
COMMISSION - REGULAR MEETING - MARCH 18, 2014
Regular Meeting of the Morris Planning Commission was called to order at 5:15
p.m. this 18th day of March, 2014, by
Chairperson Kuchenreuther in the Council Chambers of the Morris Senior
OF THE ROLL: Roll call was taken with the following
members present: Commissioners
Rudney, Livingston, Kurpiers, Hoffman, and Chairperson Kuchenreuther. Commissioners Granger and Gades were
absent. Also present were
ex-officio Miller and City Manager/Zoning Administrator Hill.
AND APPROVAL OF 2/18/14 REGULAR MEETING MINUTES: Commissioner Rudney moved, seconded by
Livingston, to approve the minutes of the 2/18/14 regular meeting as presented. With all present voting in favor, motion
HEARINGS: Morris Community Church Conditional
Use Permit Request: This
hearing is on a request for a Conditional Use to allow a church in the Central
Business District (CBD) zone pursuant to Section 11.31, Subd. 2, C (1) of the
Morris City Code. This request is
by Morris Community Church, and the subject parcel is located at 108 East 6th
Street, Morris, legally described as Block 27, Lot 12, Original Town, and Block
27, Lot 11, Original Town, parcel numbers 20-0355-000 and 20-0354-000.
Manager/Zoning Administrator Hill indicated this building is the former Legacy
Living and Morris Sun Tribune building.
He noted churches are allowed as conditional uses in the Central
Business District. The only issue
he has with this request is the lack of required off street parking for this use. The requirement is one parking space for
every 10 seats in the church. They
are looking at 150 seats maximum, so 15 parking spaces are required.
receive a comment from a property owner across the alley from this building
that did not think a church was a good use of the property in the Central
Rudney noted the property across the street from this was a funeral home for
decades, which created a lot of traffic.
This church would create traffic mostly on Sunday mornings, and there is
a lot of parking available along California Avenue.
Kuchenreuther explained the Planning Commission holds a hearing on conditional
use permits, can apply conditions as it sees fit, and then makes a
recommendation to the City Council on the conditional use permit. The City Council actually grants the
conditional use permit.
Pastor of Morris Community Church, Pat Franey, 409 West 7th Street,
passed out photos of the subject area that were taken Sunday morning. He indicated they do have an agreement
with the law firm to the north of their property to share their parking lot,
which has 25 parking spaces. He
noted they would use the lot mostly on Sunday mornings. He also had a conversation with First
Lutheran Church regarding the use of First Lutheran�s parking lot to the south
of the subject property.
Paul Erdal of First Lutheran Church at 200 East 5th
Street, (home address 248 South Columbia Avenue)
indicated the church council has discussed this. He indicated they rarely use
the parking lot behind the subject property, and their Church council will try
work out an agreement with the Morris Community Church regarding the lot
– either by granting permission to use the lot, rental of the lot, or
sale of the lot. They are not sure
which route they will go, but the commitment is there to do something. He estimated they use 1/3 of the lot on
Sundays. He noted they also have an
agreement to use the Courthouse lot.
Kurpiers asked how many spaces are in the First Lutheran lot. Franey estimated there are 24 spaces. Kuchenreuther asked if the First
Lutheran lot can be used during the week. Erdal
indicated they would be allowed to use it during the week. Rudney asked if it would be an issue for
First Lutheran if they sold the lot to Morris Community Church. Erdal indicated their attendance is
about 150 so parking would not be an issue if the lot were sold.
asked about signage plans. Franey
indicated they have not yet looked into signage. Kuchenreuther indicated in other cases
regarding signage, the Planning Commission has discussed bleed of light at
night, and indicated the Planning Commission may put conditions on
lighting. Rudney indicated night
sky compliant lighting may be required.
Meyer, 611 Idaho, indicated he is an attorney at the law firm to the north of
the subject property and doesn�t feel allowing Morris
Community Church to use their parking lot would be an issue as not many cars
use the lot.
Hendricks, 42770 State Highway 28, indicated the church has the same concern as
everybody else regarding parking, and noted they have been taking pictures and
the surrounding lots are fairly empty Sunday mornings.
Tiernan, 200 East 6th Street, indicated he is a direct neighbor to this
property as he lives one block from First Lutheran Church and is kitty corner
to the old Morris Community Church property. He feels as a neighbor this is
completely feasible as far as the parking goes.
Monteagudo, 109 East 3rd Street, stated he will
probably ride his bike to church.
indicated the tenor of the First Lutheran Church council was they were excited
to have neighbors in the neighborhood that are brothers and sisters in
was no further public comment, the public hearing was closed and brought back
to the Planning Commission for consideration.
indicated he feels the parking issue is amply covered and the only possible
issue would be night sky compliant lighting and signage.
indicated most new lighting now is night sky compliant. As for signage, this location is in a
Central Business District and he doesn�t feel there would be an issue of a sign
shining into a residential area. He
stated when the Church wants to erect a sign they will be required to get a
sign permit, and all signage issues will be considered at that time.
Hoffman pointed out the regulations in the Central Business District are very
liberal as far as signage, and feels it is a lot easier to address the issue
now rather than later.
indicated the only objection she could find with this request is that the City
will lose a tax paying entity in the Central Business District. Ex-officio Miller indicated he feels it
is good to use an existing building.
suggested a condition be included in the Conditional Use Permit that the church maintain an agreement for access to parking or
ownership of a lot of off street parking spaces. Hill felt that was a good idea.
Livingston moved, seconded by Rudney, to recommend the Conditional Use Permit
for Morris Community Church with the only condition being that they either
maintain an agreement to rent or purchase property so they can
meet the requirements for off street parking based on attendance. Hoffman asked if the church would have
to cease to operate if they can�t maintain an agreement for parking. Hill indicated he feels the Planning
Commission needs to be satisfied at this time that they have the agreement for
parking. With four Commissioners
voting in favor and Commissioner Hoffman abstaining, motion carried.
BUSINESS: Neighborhood Commercial District: Hill indicated the City Council has
adopted the Ordinance to establish the Neighborhood Commercial District.
Auction Site Update: Hill indicated he has met with Ron and
Derrick Gausman regarding a K-Bid Auction site on the property at 1100 Atlantic
Avenue, which is currently West Central Implement. K-Bid is a company that licenses auction
sites. There are K-Bid sites in
Alexandria and Benson, and Hill requested that the Gausmans take pictures of
some other K-Bid sites so the City has an idea of what they look like. Hill indicated he questions if the West
Central Implement site is the right site for this use. He stated West Central Implement is
licensed to sell vehicles, and they do sell off road vehicles. They are grandfathered in to the I1 zone
with that business. The key language
in the City Code is that selling your items to other people is allowed, but if
you are selling someone else�s items then the lot has to be fenced.
asked how big Gausman�s lot is.
Hill indicated he is not sure.
Hill pointed out the only way to allow this would be a language change
in the Code. He noted the property
is adjacent to Highway Business, so it could be changed to that also.
stated that regardless of how the business is run, he does not think that is an
attractive use for that location.
Kuchenreuther agreed it is not very welcoming.
Lutheran Sign: This will be discussed at the April
Community Church Conditional Use Permit Request: Hoffman noted he has an afterthought on
the Conditional Use Request considered earlier at this meeting. He feels by allowing a church in the subject
spot there is one less place for someone to have a business in the Central
ADJOURNMENT: There being no further business, the
meeting was adjourned at 6:10.