MORRIS – The Morris City Council approved an update to the city’s comprehensive plan on Monday that takes into account some land-use and transportation changes after 2010, as well as annexations.
Mike Hoffman of Teska Associates presented to the council changes approved last week by the planning commission.
“Back in 2010 when we did this, there was a lot of input and community involvement,” he told the committee. “This was a pretty minor update to address some things that have happened over time.”
The changes reflected changes made in the intervening years, including the consolidation of schools into the White Oak building, the annexation of the property and construction of the Costco facility and the fact that the Prairie Parkway project is all but dead at the moment.
The comprehensive plan not only includes zoning for within the current city boundaries, but makes plans for land up to 1.5 miles out from the current city limits, so that there is a plan in place should that land be annexed into the city.
One change included a bike trail along the side of Brisbin Road. While the interchange has been built since the last plan update, it did not include the proposed biking or walking trail on the bridge over Interstate 80.
The city adjusted its plan to pull the trail back.
First Ward Alderman Randy Larson had questions about the industrial zoning near Gore and Ashton roads, and said he knew people wouldn’t want industrial going up in that area.
Hoffman and Morris Mayor Richard Kopczick said that changes hadn’t been made to the zoning in that area, and also said those plans were in place in the 2010 plan.
Building and Zoning officer Bill Cheshareck also explained that it was for light industrial or manufacturing in the area. Several years ago, he said, a manufacturer had explored the area and the city, and in response created the designation for light industrial, which would mean facilities on parcels in the range of 1 to 5 acres.
Third Ward Alderman Jeff Wachowski asked Hoffman if the city had given up on expansion south of the Illinois River.
Hoffman replied that there might be room for residential growth in that area, but any expansion would require the extension of city services that direction as well.
“It gets expensive to get water and sewer there,” Hoffman said.