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MINUTES-PLANNING COMMISSION-REGULAR MEETING-AUGUST 20, 2019

The Regular Meeting of the Morris Planning Commission was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 20th day of August, 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:  Commissioner Gades, Granger, Wulf and Chairperson Kuchenreuther.  Commissioner brands arrived at 5:26.  Commissioners Kurpiers and Rudney were absent.  Also present were ex-officio Gullickson, Building Official/Zoning Administrator Jacobson, and City Manager Hill.

READING AND APPROVAL OF 7/16/19 REGULAR MEETING MINUTES:  Commissioner Wulf moved, seconded by Gades, to approve the minutes of the regular meeting 7/16/19 as written.  With all present voting in favor, motion carried.

PUBLIC HEARINGSPriemesberger Variance Request:  This hearing is on a zoning variance request from Section 11.23, Subd. 2 D 5 (c) of the Morris City Code which requires a 10' interior side yard setback in a residential (R) zone.  This request is by Paul Priemesberger, 17 Westwood Acres, Morris.  Subject parcel is 17 Westwood Acres, legally described as Bk. 5, W 56.25' Lot 23 & E 37.50' Lot 24, Highland Homes Addition, Parcel #20-1506-000.  This variance, if granted, would allow the owner to build a storage area on to a two-car attached garage within 5' of the west interior side yard property line. 

City Manager Hill indicated he spoke with Priemesberger yesterday regarding today's meeting and shared with him that he and Building Official/Zoning Administrator Jacobson concur that this variance should not be approved as there is no hardship. 

Chad DeVries, 12 Highland Drive, was present and indicated he is just curious as to what is being planned.

Hill indicated he has received no calls on this request.  When taking pictures of the Priemesberger property, he did visit with a neighbor behind the subject property, and that neighbor did not have a problem with the request. 

Commissioner Granger noted that the Planning Commission has been consistent in granting variances in single to double-garage instances but nothing else in order to keep that lane open for access to the back yard.

Chairperson Kuchenreuther indicated the Planning Commission has to show there's some kind of hardship when granting a variance. 

Priemesberger indicated he feels putting this addition on his garage would be an easily accessible spot to store some tools he has.  His garage is not long enough to house his pickup with the 2' bench in the end of the garage. 

Granger reiterated her stance that the Planning Commission be consistent in granting variances.  Commissioner Wulf agreed.

Commissioner Granger moved, seconded by Gades, to deny this variance request.  With all present voting in favor, motion carried.

OTHER BUSINESS:  Commissioner Granger asked about the bare lot at the corner of West 5th Street and Lyndale Avenue.  It is in a residential zone, but there is an accumulation of cars there, and she is wondering if they are being sold.  Hill noted the individual that owns that lot stores things on the lot.  He is not sure if the cars are for sale by others, or if they are the owner's.  Hill will write a letter to the owner.

Commissioner Brands asked about the trees being planted along East 10th Street and if there a certain distance they should be from the curb.  Granger noted the City is planting those trees, and they are actually planted a bit further back than they need to be because of the amount of snow that accumulates in that area.

Hill indicated that because the City receives State Aid money, it is required to do a handicap accessibility survey on sidewalks.  While doing that accessibility survey, it would also make sense to do a sidewalk survey to identify places where the sidewalks need to be replaced.  The City Council will be discussing this. 

Commissioner Wulf left at 5:45.

Discussion continued on sidewalks.

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

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