- PLANNING COMMISSION - REGULAR MEETING - MAY 16, 2017
The Regular Meeting of the Morris
Planning Commission was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 16th day
of May, 2017, 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, Kurpiers, Granger,
Wulf, Gades and Chairperson Kuchenreuther. Also present were Zoning
Administrator Jacobson and City Manager Hill.
READING AND APPROVAL OF
4/18/17 REGULAR MEETING MINUTES: Commissioner Rudney moved, seconded by
Kurpiers, to accept the minutes of the 4/18/17 regular meeting as presented.
Motion carried unanimously.
PUBLIC HEARINGS: Gary Wahl and
Henry Hall dba Stone's Throw Cafe Variance Request: This hearing is on a
zoning variance request from Section 11.70, Subd. 20 D 5 of the Morris City
Code which requires 1 off-street parking space for every 200 square feet of
floor space in order for a restaurant to be allowed. This request is by Gary
Wahl and Henry Hall dba Stone's Throw Cafe, P. O. Box 251, Morris MN. Subject
parcel is 511 Oregon Avenue, legally described as Block 2, North ½ Lot 1, North
½ East ½ Lot 2, Original Townsite, parcel number 20-0114-000. This variance, if
granted, would allow a restaurant by reducing the number of required off-street
parking spaces from 9 to 0.
City Manager Hill indicated he had one
call about this request. The caller asked about dumpster space and product
delivery. Hill indicated that deliveries in most restaurants in town are made
from the street or alley. He also indicated that he and Zoning Administrator
Jacobson do not see any issue with granting this variance request.
Greg Buss, owner of Don's Cafe at 15
East 5th Street, asked where patrons of Stone's Throw Cafe would
park. He indicated he leases the parking lot between Don's Cafe and the
building owned by Don Wohlers at 19 East 5th Street for his
patrons. He also questioned where their grease barrel and dumpster will be
located, and asked where their employees will park.
Commissioner Granger asked if the
parking lot that Buss leases has a sign indicating it is for Don's Cafe
parking. Buss indicated it is not signed, but he will sign it if he has to.
Commissioner Rudney asked if people other than Don's patrons are consistently
parking in the lot Buss leases. Buss stated not unless there is something
going on in the neighborhood. Rudney pointed out that without signage, no one
knows it's a private lot.
Commissioner Wulf asked how many parking
spaces are in Buss' leased lot. Buss estimated about a dozen or more. Wahl
indicated they do not intend to use Don's leased lot for parking, and he
pointed out their entrance does not face Don's lot so there wouldn't be easy
Hill asked if Buss leased the lot when
Federated Telephone was the owner. Buss indicated he did not lease it then as
they let him use the lot. Hill noted that the Met Lounge does not have their
own parking lot.
Kurpiers indicated about 60% of the lots
between the 500 and 600 blocks of Atlantic Avenue on the East side of Atlantic
Avenue are signed.
Rudney indicated he feels Buss' concerns
are reasonable, but he feels Buss' lot should be signed.
Kuchenreuther asked the hours of both
Don's and Stone's Throw Cafes. Don's is open 6 a.m. - 2 p.m. plus 5 p.m. - 10
p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Stone's Throw Cafe will have a fair amount of
hours that overlap, but initially they will not be open Mondays and Tuesdays.
Wahl noted they will be a farm-to-table
cafe, so they will have no fryers and no need for a grease barrel. He
indicated they will be working with the Food Co-op on the location of a
dumpster. They are trying to reduce the need for a large dumpster.
Rudney asked if Stone's Throw Cafe would
be willing to put a sign at their entrance asking their customers to park on
the street. Wahl indicated they would be willing to do that.
Rudney asked how many tables would be in
the Cafe. Wahl indicated they will have 35 seats.
Arne Kildegaard, 548 East 5th
Street, was present representing the Pomme de Terre Food Co-op. He indicated
that as a gesture of good will, they would be willing to pay for signage to
identify Don's Cafe' parking.
Granger asked where employees will
park. Wahl replied they will park on the street also. They would expect there
would be 1-4 employees working at any given time. Kuchenreuther noted that her
observation is that a lot of the time, the on-street parking in front of the
proposed Cafe is pretty empty.
Granger asked what in the City Code is
triggering this variance request. Kuchenreuther indicated it's the performance
standards for restaurants. Jacobson noted that according to the Building Code,
if a use is changed then there are certain things that need to be looked into,
parking being one of them. He noted that if this were a new development, the
City would require off-street parking.
Rudney indicated the City wants to bring
businesses into the community, and doesn't think having to walk a little way to
a restaurant is a bad thing or problem. Granger agreed but is trying to see
the justification for granting the variance in the City Code. Hill indicated
he feels the justification is because of the way that area is established. He
does not feel granting this would be a safety issue.
Hill indicated the building the Cafe
would be located in will be split in half ownership-wise, and this variance
should be contingent on the actual splitting of the building.
Jacobson noted that if the use of the
building wasn't going to change, then the parking requirement wouldn't come up.
Commissioner Rudney moved, seconded by Wulf,
to grant this variance request contingent upon proof of ownership and an
updated parcel number and address for the property.
Rudney reiterated that the Commission
would like to see the following; signage in the parking lot next to Don's
Cafe, the owners of Stone's Throw Cafe have discussions with their vendors regarding
unloading merchandise, and signage on the Cafe's entrance asking patrons to
park on the street.
With Commissioners Rudney, Granger,
Kurpiers, Gades and Wulf voting in favor, and Chairperson Kuchenreuther
abstaining, motion carried.
OTHER BUSINESS: Discussion of
Central Business District and Performance Standards: Kuchenreuther indicated
that she will try draft a new “Purpose” in the CBD for the Commission to
consider at the June meeting.
Granger asked if the requirement for
off-street parking in the CBD can be reduced. Hill indicated it can be done in
what he calls a maintenance ordinance, which is an ordinance that cleans up
language in the City Code. Kurpiers cautioned that if the parking requirement
is removed from the CBD, a developer could purchase an entire block of
buildings to redevelop, and then wouldn't be required to have any off-street
This was informational for the Commission.
Coborn's Building: Rudney asked if the
developer that purchased the old Coborn's building will be using the existing
building or building new. Jacobson indicated they will be using the existing
Kuchenreuther indicated UMM geographer Ed Brands is interested in serving on
the Planning Commission. Rudney indicated Brent Barnstuble has also indicated
his interest in serving on the Commission. Because of his planning background,
the Planning Commission is recommending Brands be appointed to the Commission.
ADJOURNMENT: There being no
further business, Commissioner Rudney moved, seconded by Gades, to adjourn.
Motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 6:25.