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MINUTES - PLANNING COMMISSION - REGULAR MEETING - JULY 16, 2019

The Regular Meeting of the Morris Planning Commission was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 16th day of July, 2019, by Chairperson Kuchenreuther in the Council Chambers of the Morris Senior Citizens/Community Center.

CALL OF THE ROLL:  Roll Call was taken with the following members present:  Commissioners Rudney, Gades, Wulf, Brands, and Chairperson Kuchenreuther.  Absent were Commissioners Kurpiers and Granger and Ex-Officio Gullickson.  City Manager Hill was also present.

READING AND APPROVAL OF 9/18/18 REGULAR MEETING:  Commissioner Gades moved, seconded by Rudney, to approve the minutes of the 9/18/18 Regular Meeting as presented.  With all present voting in favor, motion carried.

PUBLIC HEARINGSJerry's U-Save, Inc., Conditional Use Permit Request:  The purpose of this hearing is to consider a Conditional Use Permit application from Jerry's U-Save, Inc., to build and operate a Propane and Petroleum Products Distribution Center in the Morris Industrial Park.  The park is zoned I2 Heavy Industrial.  The property where the distribution center site will be located is on two lots, addresses of 12 and 14 Hull Drive.  The parcel numbers for the property are 20-0004-000 and 20-0004-001.  This Conditional Use Permit, if granted, would allow the construction of a distribution center consisting of multiple large storage tanks.  The storage tanks will be placed in a manner to insure maximum safety.  The site will contain other appropriate safety precautions to include property controls in case of leaks or spills. 

City Manager Hill indicated there are only 4 owners within the required 350' notice area of the proposed site.  The site was originally sold to Backman Welding, but they decided not to build on the property and the City got the property back.  Hill stated he only received one phone call regarding this request.  That caller was wondering why a Conditional Use Permit was required, and Hill explained that flammable liquids would be involved with the project. 

This project includes two parcels of land in the Industrial Park.  Backmans only purchased the westerly parcel, and at that time there was a lot of discussion regarding utilities and roads.  Bonanza Bean has built a road to their property, which is east of this property, and that would be the road Jerry's would use to access their property.  There are fire hydrants to the northwest and northeast of this property.

Hill noted there are platted streets in this area and the City will still own the right of way.  The main storm sewer line runs on the west side of the westerly lot with a 60' easement.

Rudney asked if access to this property has the possibility of being blocked by a train on the railroad tracks.  Pete Hentges, who is on the fire department, indicated they would use the bypass to access this property.

Ken Lesmeister, owner of Prairie Trailer at 20 Industrial Boulevard, asked if any streets would be improved when this property is developed.  Hill indicated there are no plans for that at this time.

Commissioner Brands stated the street that will be used to access this property is gravel.  He asked if that will be upgraded for larger trucks.  Pete Hentges indicated Bonanza Bean drives semis on that road and there are no plans to upgrade it now.

Chairperson Kuchenreuther asked about the safety precautions noted in the Public Notice.  Pete Hentges indicated all Federal and State guidelines will be followed on this project. 

Hill noted that because of the location of this project, screening does not need to be a condition of the conditional use permit.   Commissioner Gades asked if there would be other buildings on the site.  Hentges indicated there may be a shed for cold storage.

Kuchenreuther asked if they will use dark sky compliant lighting.  Commissioner Wulf indicated that for safety reasons, he doesn't want to restrict the amount of lighting allowed.  Kuchenreuther pointed out that lighting that is not dark sky compliant interferes with the telescope at the UMM.  It was the consensus that dark sky compliant lighting should be a condition. 

Commissioner Gades moved, seconded by Rudney, to recommend to the City Council the approval of this Conditional Use Permit request, with the condition that dark sky compliant lighting be used.  With all present voting in favor, motion carried.

OTHER BUSINESSElection of Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson:  Commissioner Rudney moved, seconded by Brands, to nominate Chairperson Kuchenreuther as Chairperson and Commissioner Gades as Vice Chairperson for 2019.  With all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Morris Model:  Kuchenreuther feels the Planning Commission should start thinking about alternative energy and residential uses.  Hill indicated the City has received an LCCMR grant and through this grant there may be a staff person and interns available to look into this.

ADJOURNMENT:  Commissioner Wulf moved, seconded by Rudney, to adjourn.  Motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 5:50.

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