Planning Commission Minutes

 Monday 1, October 2012


Minutes of the Norris Planning Commission meeting, held in the Council Room of the Norris Community Building, 20 Chestnut Drive.

Monday 1, October 2012

Commission Members Present: Chairman-Spencer Boardman, Secretary-Jeff Merritt, Chris Mitchell, Jack Black, Gene Oates and C.A. Ridge

Also Present: Ed McEleney, Jan McEleney, Frances Oates, May Boardman, Loretta Black, Loy Johnson, Jack Mitchell, Alicia Alvis, John Alvis, Jamie Linkes, Joe Deatherage, Josh Anderson, Harry Shaltz, Bill Grieve, Tim Hester


I.          Call to Order:

The meeting was called to order at 7:02 p.m. by Chairman Spencer Boardman

II.         Hear the public:

No member of the public spoke.   

III.       Minutes 4, September 2012

Mr. Boardman advised that the county planner was Sarah Wallace not Sarah Watson, and pointed out 2 locations in the minutes that needed changes.  Also, Mountazula Montana needed to be changed to Missoula Montana.  Secretary Merritt made note of the requested changes.  Mr. Ridge made motion to approve with mentioned changes.  Mr. Black seconded.   Commission voted unanimously to approve the minutes of the Norris Planning Commission 4, September 2012.

IV.       New Business

1.  Review proposed zoning for newly annexed parcel 043 023.00.

Chairman Boardman gave an overview as to why Commission was asked by City Council to review the above parcel for a recommendation on zoning.  Chairman Boardman instructed members of the public to restrict their comments to five minutes, and direct those comments to the Commission. 

Mr. Mitchell said the he thought it appropriate for the two sitting Council members (himself & Mr. Black) to explain why City Council has asked Planning Commission to review zoning for parcels 043 023.00 and 043 024.00 and make a recommendation for same. 

Mr. Mitchell said that he wanted City Council to be clear on the appropriate zoning.  Mr. Black spoke to Mr. John Alvis directly.  Mr. Black said that at the last Council meeting (9-10-12) he felt that Mr. Alvis (according to his comment) feared that he would be very restricted as to what he could do with his property.  Mr. Black explained that he disagreed.  Mr. Black went over differences of the S-1 and C-2 zoning with examples.  Mr. Black went on to say that his present business mostly conformed to the S-1 zoning now and was Grand fathered in and if wanted to say open a retail business he could go to Planning and ask that the property be re-zoned.  Mrs. Loy Johnson from the audience (also a Council member) spoke and said that she also did not think that Mr. Alvis was being unduly restricted.  Mrs. Johnson then asked Mr. Alvis what zone he thought would serve him best? 

Mr. Alvis answered that he did not think any zone that Planning Commission recommended to City Council would help him.  Mr. Alvis went on to say that he did not understand the County zoning language as to conforming and grand fathering.  Did grand fathering mean that he; the property or building was grand fathered?  Chairman Boardman asked County Planner Watson if she would answer Mr. Alvis's question.  Miss Watson said that grand fathering applied to the lot and structure.  Mr. Alvis asked if this explanation was recorded somewhere?  Miss Watson said this could be found in Title 13. 

Mr. Alvis went on to talk about lot widths and setbacks and how much was spoken at the last City Council meeting about "big business" moving in.  Mr. Alvis said that the two parcels in question were not deep enough for big business and all he could see moving onto the parcels in the next fifty years was maybe a restaurant.  Miss Jamie Linkes of Norris asked Commission to clarify Special Exceptions to zoning S-1, S-2 and C-2.  Mr. Boardman explained that there were No special exemptions to S-1.  S-2 special exemptions consisted of allowing businesses conforming to C-2 to be allowed if approved by the Board of Zoning Appeals.  Miss Linkes asked if C-2 would not be the best appropriate zone?  Mr. Boardman said that S-1 was recommended by Planning Commission to conform to existing businesses.  Miss Linkes then asked if Dollar General and Sawyer Liquor were presently zoned C-2.  Mr. Mitchell answered that they were.

Discussion ensued as to the merits of S-1, S-2 and C-2 zoning districts.  Mr. Alvis asked again about grand fathering.  He asked if he would be grand fathered forever.  Mr. Ridge said if he changes type of business he would have to conform to the zone placed on that property.  City Manager Tim Hester committed that if and when the property was sold and if the new owner continued the same type of business as before the grand father clause would still apply.  But, if the type business, changed or the structure, re-built the property must conform to the current zoning that applies.

Mr. Alvis asked if S-2 zone was placed on property could he open a restaurant.  Mr. Hester answered yes, if approved by the Board of Zoning Appeals.  Mr. Hester and Mr. Mitchell explained in general that if the parcel was zoned S-1 the current or new owner could petition the Planning Commission to change zoning to meet their needs. 

Mr. Jack Mitchell of the public said that he was in favor of annexation but, thinks it unfair to Mr. Alvis because S-1 would be too restrictive and burdensome to go to Planning Commission and ask for re-zoning.  Mr. Mitchell went on to say that the Norris Planning Commission was being derelict in their responsibility to the City in the fact that there was no "Master Plan" for the Hwy 61 Corridor. 

More discussion ensued on procedures to re-zone a property and BZA hearings.  Mr. Mitchell asked planner Watson what constitutes spot zoning, and if the property in question was zoned C-2, could it constitute spot zoning?  Planner Watson said if property was zoned dis-similar to surrounding properties spot zoning could become a question. 

Chairman Boardman said he would not like to see C-2 on this property.

Mr. Mitchell made motion to recommend to City Council that parcel 043 023.00 be zoned S-2.  Mr. Black seconded.  Commission voted unanimously to approve. 




2.  Review proposed zoning for newly annexed parcel 043 024.00

Chairman Boardman gave an overview as to why Commission was asked by City Council to review the above parcel for a recommendation on zoning.  Mr. Mitchell made motion to recommend to City Council that parcel 043 024.00 be zoned S-2.  Mr. Ridge seconded.  Commission voted unanimously to approve. 

IV. Adjourn

With no Old Business to attend to Chairman Boardman asked for a motion to adjourn.

Mr. Oates made motion to adjourn.  Mr. Boardman seconded.  Commission voted unanimously to adjourn. 


Minutes submitted by Jeff Merritt Secretary