MINUTES - PLANNING COMMISSION - REGULAR MEETING - OCTOBER 18, 2016
The regular meeting of the Morris Planning Commission was
called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 18th day of October, 2016 by
Chairperson Kuchenreuther in the Council Chambers of the Morris Senior
CALL OF THE ROLL: Roll Call was taken with the following
members present: Commissioners
Hoffman, Kurpiers, Granger and Chairperson Kuchenreuther. Commissioners Rudney, Gades and Wulf
were absent. Also present were
Ex-officio Miller, City Manager Hill and Building Official/Zoning Administrator
READING AND APPROVAL OF 9/20/16 REGULAR MEETING MINUTES: Commissioner Hoffman moved, seconded by
Kurpiers, to approve the minutes of the 9/20/16 regular meeting. With all present voting in favor, motion
In the 9/20/16 minutes, Hill indicates he doesn�t ever
remember the Planning Commission reviewing a landscape plan. Granger indicated she remembers the
Planning Commission reviewing a landscape plan for Dacotah
Bank and the Courthouse. It was
pointed out the Courthouse had to come before the Planning Commission for a
Conditional Use Permit.
Building Official/Zoning Administrator Jacobson was
introduced to the Planning Commission.
PUBLIC HEARINGS: None.
Zoning Code Review:
Chairperson Kuchenreuther noted there are inconsistencies in the Code
with regard to zoning and the Planning Commission should look at those issues
and recommend changes to the City Council.
Hill indicated he doesn�t feel the entire zoning code needs
to be reviewed. He suggested the
Commissioners only review issues they see as vague or confusing.
Several things noted by Commissioners that should be
reviewed are Airbnb rentals, wind and solar developments in the City, landscape
plans, dark sky compliant lighting, and whether there should be a cap on the
size of multi-family developments that could be built without a conditional use
Kurpiers indicated he could see a problem with airbnb�s because although an owner is renting out their
home, they most likely wouldn�t be having rental inspections. Hill indicated the bottom line is that a
person cannot rent their property out without a rental inspection. He suggested a reference to airbnb�s could be put in the rental ordinance.
Granger indicated the Tree Board is talking about trees and
how they could be affected by solar panels, as there is the potential a person
would cut down a boulevard tree in order to accommodate their solar panel. The Tree Board is working on language to
Zoning Code Review: (continued)
prevent that from happening. She feels removing a boulevard tree
affects an entire neighborhood.
Kuchenreuther suggested the Tree Board keep the Planning Commission
advised on their progress and then the Planning Commission can make
recommendations to the City Council.
Granger indicated she feels parts of the zoning code were
written in order to accommodate buildings that were already in place.
Granger noted that she doesn�t feel a 4-story building
should be allowed in a Residential area.
Also she feels the Planning Commission should review landscape
plans. Hill noted that in order to
enforce the City Code, a plan needs to be in place. He questioned if the Planning Commission
would require a professional landscaper to draw up landscape plans, and asked
who the professional landscaper would be on the Planning Commission. Hill noted that with landscape plan
review, the timing and how the Planning Commission is involved has to be
thought out. Hoffman noted that the
Planning Commission needs to be cautious not to be too restrictive so they don�t
discourage development. Hill noted
the Planning Commission needs to be careful with the conditions they put on
Conditional Use Permits as they have to be enforceable.
Kuchenreuther indicated she doesn�t
feel it�s unreasonable to ask for a landscape plan. Granger noted it is common in other
cities to require a landscape plan.
Jacobson indicated if specific items are required in a
landscape plan, they need to be spelled out in the Code so that landscape
professionals can look at the Code and know what is required. Granger indicated that when thinking
about landscape planning, she wasn�t necessarily thinking of specific trees,
but rather things like green space and screening. Jacobson noted that site plans show
sidewalks, runoff and landscaping.
Kuchenreuther indicated Morris is a GreenStep
City which is a program sponsored by the Minnesota Pollution Control
Agency. The GreenStep
City program is a voluntary challenge, assistance and recognition program to
help cities achieve their sustainability and qualify-of-life goals. The program provides model ordinances
for such things as energy efficiency, landscaping, and wind energy. The website for this program is
Kuchenreuther feels the Planning Commission should look at this program
to find ideas and language for ordinances.
Hill noted that the City of Morris has done a number of
things as a GreenStep City such as changing out light
bulbs in the City buildings and maintaining Tree City status.
Kuchenreuther indicated the American Medical Association
recently issued a report on human and environmental effects of LED community
lighting. The report warns against
LED lighting that is too blue.
Granger indicated the
illuminated sign ordinance also needs to be finished.
Zoning Code Review: (continued)
Hoffman feels the allowed uses in the CBD need to be
Jacobson indicated storm drainage is also an issue the
City will need to address. The City
of Willmar has an Environmental Specialist that addresses this concern. He indicated the State will help the
City regulate this. Hill noted
there will probably be a new chapter in the City Code dealing with storm
water. He indicated the City�s
engineering firm is working on this.
There is no funding for this mandate, but the City is charging $5 on
each utility bill for administration of storm water.
Hill noted the City is also
building narrower streets in town.
ADJOURNMENT: There being no further business,
Commissioner Hoffman moved, seconded by Kurpiers, to adjourn. Motion carried and the meeting adjourned