Norris Planning Minutes

August 3, 2015

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

Members Present:  Matt Zorvan, Jack Black, Ed Meyer, John Barker, Chris Mitchell, Joy Wilson and Chairman Jeff Merritt

Public Present:  Dan Hawk Planning Adviser , City Manager Tim Hester, Jim Tomlinson, Jack Mitchell

I.             Call to Order:  Chairman Merritt called the meeting to order at 5:00 pm.

II.            Hear the Public:  No Member of the Public Spoke 

III.           Minutes - July 6, 2015

                Chairman Merritt asked for a motion to approve as submitted.  Matt Zorvan made a motion to approve, Joy Wilson seconded, all voted unanimously to approve.

IV.          Old Business: 

                1.            Continued review of flag lots & frontage requirements. 

                Mr. Hawk again asked Commission what is intent with a possible amendment to the Norris Zoning Ordinance allowing flag lots in the FAR zoning? 

                Pros:      Creating more property availability for residential development therefore, increasing    the property tax base.

                Cons:     More street traffic, increasing City services and cost, more septic systems, etc., etc.

                Mr. Hester said that the Planning Commission decreased the required street frontage at the publics request, twelve (12) or fifteen (15) years ago in the FAR zone from 200ft. to 100ft. to allow more development.  There was concern then; by allowing more development would the character of the FAR be changed from a rural setting to a compact urban feel?

                Mr. Mitchell asked Mr. Hester if the reduction in the road frontage meet the publics request and the Commissions intent at that time.  Mr. Hester replied that it did.  Mr. Hester made the observation, that a lot of the properties that could be candidates for flag lots in the FAR zone would not be suitable for building due to ridge line development restrictions and flooding.

                Mr. Hawk pointed to the language in the memorandum to the Commission dated August 3, 2015, titled Flag Lot Arrangement (to be attached and made part of the August 3, 2015 Planning Commission minutes) calling for a reduction of 100ft. road frontage to 50ft. for the accommodation of a flag lot.  Mr. Hawk committed that a shared driveway would also work.

                Mr. Hester commented that in his opinion that both properties should have road frontage to allow for timely emergency and city services

                Mr. Hawk agreed.

                Mr. Black (the Originator of the flag lot proposal) said that he did not want to create a flag lot on his property, which is located in the FAR zone and therefore is not self-serving, but thinks the required 100ft. road frontage requirement creates a problem and should be reduced.

                Mr. Hester gave examples of past subdivided properties and common us driveway with their pros and cons.  After a lengthy discussion, Chairman Merritt asked each Commissioner their thoughts and if they wanted to continue.  The majority of Commissioners expressed that they did not want to change the charter of the FAR zone and did not want to continue the discussion. 

                Chairman Merritt asked for a motion.  No motion was brought forward.  Subject died for lack of motion.


                2.            Zoning Overlays & Design Standards

                Mr. Hawk reviewed memorandum to Commission dated August 3, 2015, which consist of links to various design review standards.  The links contain Historic Zoning Districts and Commercial Design Architectural overlay Districts.  Chairman Merritt reminded Commission that only the newly annexed Commercial properties on HWY 61 were being considered.  During the discussion, Mr. Hawk was asked what steps were necessary to create a Design Review Board and its standards.  Mr. Hawk replied, if Planning Commission decided that a Design Review Board was desired, a vision statement from Planning creating a design review board would need to be created and presented to City Council.  If City Council agreed with the vision statement and the need for a Design Review Board, they would then create the Board who would then adopt the standards aided by the Planning Commission.

                Mr. Hester cautioned Commissioners that the standards created should not be so cost prohibited as to dis-courage developers from investing in the subject properties. 

                Mr. Mitchell committed that strict and expensive construction standards can be cost prohibitive, but the lack of standards can become detrimental.

                Mr. Hawk said he could draw up a timeline detailing the proper language for the vision statement, responsibilities and desired area of overlay ready for review by Commission of the September 2015 planning meeting.

                After a short discussion all agreed.


IV.          New Business:

                Review Title 10 Ch. 4 of City code for possible inclusion into zoning ordinances

                Mr. Hester explained to Commissioners that Title 10 deals with Animals within the Corporate City Limits of Norris chapter 4 says that any property within the City limits of Norris containing (four) 4 or more acres can have horses, other City ordinance declares that livestock animals can only be kept in the FAR zone containing (four) 4 or more acres.  Mr. Hester said that a conflict exist and needs to be rectified.

                Mr. Hawk reviewed with Commissioners the Memorandum send to Commissioners outlining a Special Exception for the keeping of horses, (please see attached memorandum dated August 3, 2015).

                Mr. Hawk committed that the Special Exception request from a resident of Norris would fall under the review of the BZA to either approve or reject the request.  Another solution would be to simply delete Chapter 4 of Title 10.

                After a short discussion, Mr. Black made motion to recommend to City Council for adoption of the Special Exception to be added to Section 2 of each zoning district in the City of Norris with properties containing (four) 4 or more acres and limited to no more than (three) 3 horses.  After a short discussion Mr. Mitchell seconded.  Chairman Merritt called for a vote.  Mr. Black ya, all other Commissioners na, including Mr. Mitchell the motion failed.  Mr. Mitchell said that he would be open to any resident's proposal who wanted to have horses.

VI.          With no other new business being brought forward Chairman Merritt asked for a motion to adjourn.  Mr. Meyer made motion, Mr. Zorvan seconded.   All voted unanimous to adjourn.

 Minutes submitted by Jeff Merritt, Chairman/Secretary




To:              Norris Municipal Planning Commission

                    Tim Hester

From:         Dan Hawk, ETDD Planning Consultant

Date:           August 3, 2015


The following language would amend Article III, Section C.1 of the Norris Subdivision Regulations to allow flag lots.  At least one amendment to the Norris Zoning Ordinance would be required to allow flag lot arrangement in the FAR district because a minimum 100 foot public street frontage is required.   



Flag Lot Arrangement

In the case of flag lot arrangement, the minimum road frontage access standard as herein required shall be a continuous strip of land leading to the buildable portion of the lot.


a)    Flag lots may be considered in the FAR, R-1 and R-2 zoning districts of the Norris Municipal Zoning Ordinance and subject to the minimum lot and area requirements of each.

b)    Such continuous strip of land shall not be narrower than fifty (50) feet at any point between the existing public street and the buildable portion of the lot.

c)    At no point shall the proposed lot be narrower at the building setback line than that is required.

d)    The front yard building setback shall be measured from the termination of the 50 foot continuous strip with the buildable area of the lot.

e)    Flag lots must be separated by a minimum of 100 feet at the street frontage.





To:              Norris Municipal Planning Commission

                    Tim Hester

From:          Dan Hawk, ETDD Planning Consultant

Date:           August 3, 2015


The following special exception for keeping horses would be added to section 2 of each zoning district in the City of Norris.  The special exception would be allowed only with approval of the board of zoning appeals within the conditions set forth for the exception.     


2.  Special Exception, The following uses are may be permitted on review by the Board of Zoning Appeals according to sections 14-605 and 14-606.

a. (or next appropriate letter) Keeping of horses for the domestic recreational use of the property owner.


          i.            Horses may be kept on parcels, lots or tracts of land that are four (4) acres or greater in gross area.

        ii.            The harboring of horses shall be permitted for the sole purpose domestic recreational use by the owner of the property.

     iii.            All horses must be occupant owned.

     iv.            Accessory structures for harboring horses shall not be permitted within two hundred (200) feet of any residence adjacent to the property and/or fifty (50) feet from any property line.

        v.            The front pasture fence shall be no closer than two hundred (200) feet from the front property line.

     vi.            All businesses including training or boarding horses are prohibited.

   vii.            There shall be no minimum number of occupant owned horses allowed on the property.

viii.            For the purpose of this ordinance domestic horses are defined as all members of the genus Equus and family Edquidae.

     ix.            Except as otherwise provided by this section, all zoning, state and local health code shall be in compliance.