- REGULAR MEETING - PLANNING COMMISSION - JANUARY 21, 2020
Regular Meeting of the Morris Planning Commission was called to order at 5:15
p.m. this 21st day of January, 2020, by Chairperson Kuchenreuther in
the Council Chambers of the Morris Senior Citizens/Community Center.
OF THE ROLL:
Roll call was taken with the following members present: Commissioners
Rudney, Brands, Kurpiers, Granger, Gades, and Chairperson Kuchenreuther.
Commissioner Wulf was absent. Also present were Ex-officio Gullickson,
Building Official/Zoning Administrator Jacobson, and City Manager Hill.
AND APPROVAL OF 8/20/19 REGULAR MEETING MINUTES: Commissioner Gades moved,
seconded by Rudney, to approve the minutes of the regular meeting held
8/20/19. With all present voting in favor, motion carried.
OF CHAIRPERSON AND VICE CHAIRPERSON FOR 2020: Commissioner Rudney moved, seconded by
Granger, to nominate Chairperson Kuchenreuther as Chair for 2020 and
Commissioner Gades as Vice Chairperson for 2020. With all present voting
in favor, motion carried.
Ordinance: City Manager Hill indicated the sign ordinance appears to
allow both electronic advertising signs and business signs on buildings in the
downtown area (CBD). Advertising signs would be a sign that would
advertise another business, and business signs would advertise your own
business. Our current ordinance allows an unlimited number of both signs
on a business. Hill's opinion is that a business shouldn't be able do
both on the same building, and this should be reflected in the ordinance.
Presently there aren't any buildings that have both.
Kurpiers noted that Town and Country Supply on Atlantic Avenue does have a
number of signs on the side of their building advertising the various brands
they carry in their store. With the current ordinance they could cover
the whole side of their building with signs. He asked if the Planning
Commission is concerned with the aesthetics of that. Ex-officio
Gullickson asked about the aesthetics of a crumbling building on Atlantic
Avenue. Kurpiers suggested having a ratio of signs to building size.
asked what the issue is with the ordinance. She doesn't feel there are
many buildings in Morris where a lot of signs could be put on one
Official/Zoning Administrator Jacobson indicated he feels Morris has a very
liberal sign ordinance. He indicated the Police Chief in Benson weighed
in on their sign ordinance because of safety issues the signs can cause.
the concensus to have Jacobson get the Benson sign ordinance and get sign
ordinances from several other cities to compare.
indicated there was recently an inquiry from a contractor about putting solar
on a residential property, along with an inquiry from a company working with
the USDA Ag Research to install solar on their property.
indicated the City Code contradicts itself on solar panels. Performance
Standards indicate that Solar Energy Systems require a Conditional Use Permit,
and the individual Districts indicate that Solar Energy Systems are permitted
in all use districts except commercial. Hill stated he feels Solar Energy
Systems should be a permitted use, but the Performance Standards should be very
well thought out. Things to consider would be setbacks, height
restrictions, location, etc. The City Council has indicated they are in
favor of Solar Energy Systems.
Brands has Fergus Falls and Northfield's standards on Solar Energy Systems, and
will email them to City Hall.
Granger indicated the Tree Board has talked about Solar Energy Systems and are
very concerned that a conflict isn't inadvertently set up between trees and
Solar Energy Systems. She reviewed information regarding trees and the
benefits they provide. She feels the value of trees is not clear to
everybody. They are concerned a lot of people will put up solar systems
and create a problem for trees.
Climate Smart Municipalities Program has created a Sustainability Strategic
Plan, and that plan will be provided to the Planning Commission members.
asked if the City's Sustainability Project Coordinator would be able to look
for information on Solar System ordinances. Hill indicated that would be
possible. Kurpiers suggested checking with our partners in Germany.
ADJOURNMENT: There being no further
business, Commissioner Rudney moved, seconded by Brands, to adjourn.
Motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 6:25.