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The Regular Meeting of the Morris Planning Commission was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 18th day of September, 2018, in the Council Chambers of the Morris Senior Citizens/Community Center by Chairperson Kuchenreuther.

CALL OF THE ROLL: Roll call was taken with the following members present: Commissioners Gades, Kurpiers, Brands, Wulf and Chairperson Kuchenreuther. Commissioners Rudney and Granger, along with ex-officio Gullickson, were absent. Also present was City Manager Hill. Also attending was developer John Timmerman.

READING AND APPROVAL OF 8/21/18 REGULAR MEETING MINUTES: Commissioner Kurpiers moved, seconded by Brands, to approve the minutes of the 8/21/18 meeting. With all present voting in favor, motion carried.


Other Business: Resolution for Tax Increment Financing District 16: City Manager Hill indicated the Planning Commission needs to determine if the Tax Increment Financing Plan for District 16, which is a housing district, meets the requirements of the Comprehensive Plan. He noted some of the housing units must be income-based. This would be a multi-family development in a multi-family zone. The EDA (who are also the members of the City Council) will hold a public hearing and make a recommendation to the City Council on whether or not this tax increment financing should be considered. The School, County and public have been notified of that hearing.

Hill noted two housing studies in Morris have been conducted in Morris in 2007 and 2016. The primary vacancies in the 2016 study were at Key Row Apartments. Those apartments have since been sold and their vacancy rate is now much lower.

Hill explained that tax increment financing is a tool to help provide a financial resource to developers. Without it, towns like Morris would not see this kind of development. Currently John Timmerman is building a 4-plex in Morris without any financial help. He has found out that doing another housing project without financial help would be cost prohibitive. John Timmerman was present and indicated the building he is working on now has four 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom units. He is planning a 16-unit building with eight 2-bedroom and eight 1-bedroom units. He is potentially considering three more buildings with eight 2-bedroom units.

Hill noted Timmerman has acquired three parcels of land on which these apartment buildings would be built. There were some legal description discrepancies that Timmerman cleared up when he purchased the properties. There will be an exit to the interior of the property onto a new road named Breezy Lane. Hill stated that in talking to Zoning Administrator/Building Official Jacobson, they don’t see anything in the Comprehensive Plan that would hinder this development.

Resolution for Tax Increment Financing District 16: (continued) Commissioner Gades asked if any underground infrastructure would be needed with all the new apartments. Hill indicated there would be no need for upgrading infrastructure.

Chairperson Kuchenreuther indicated it seems like this development is located in an appropriate place for multi-family units. She is happy to see this has designated units for low to moderate income people. She inquired if this would be well-connected with sidewalks. Timmerman indicated he intends to have sidewalks for his tenants, but none that would run parallel to East 7th Street or Iowa Avenue. Kuchenreuther asked about communal green space for residents. Timmerman indicated the property would be about 50% impervious and 50% green space.

Kurpiers asked about the size of the tax increment district as shown in Appendix B. It is much larger than just Timmerman’s property. Hill explained that when setting up a TIF district, a larger area than just the current development is included so that a new district doesn’t need to be set up if there is more development. Kurpiers noted that the area shown crosses multiple zoning districts. Hill will check with the City’s consultant on the size of the district.

Commissioner Wulf moved, seconded by Gades, to approve Planning Commission Resolution #1-18, A Resolution of the City of Morris Planning Commission Finding That the Modification to the Morris Economic Development Project and Tax Increment Financing Plan for TIF District No. 16 Conforms to the General Plans for the Development and Redevelopment of the City. With all present voting in favor, motion carried.

ADJOURNMENT: There being no further business, Commissioner Brands moved to close the meeting. The meeting was closed at 5:55.

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