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Local

Morris council approves subdivision of Route 47 lot

Liberty Arts Festival announces tweaks to arrangement

MORRIS – The Morris City Council approved, 8-0, during Monday's meeting a minor subdivision separating parcels at 1771 N. Division St., also known as Route 47, after a request from First National Bank of Ottawa.

The site covers more than 2 acres and the lot created will be legally conforming to the Morris Municipal Code B-3 commercial zoning district. 

The Morris Planning Commissioned positively recommended last week that City Council approve the subdivision, which will make way for the construction of a 4,000-square-foot Sherwin-Williams at the south end of the lot. The Morris Development Review Committee approved the site plan in December.

“This is just formally dividing the two areas in the lot,” Morris Building and Zoning Officer Bill Cheshareck said to City Council. “It received unanimous support from the Development Review Committee and the Planning Commission.”

In a lengthy list of requests at the start of the meeting, council approved Morris Downtown Development Partnership’s request to use various city streets for the 2016 Liberty Arts Festival from July 14 through July 16.

MDDP Executive Director Julie Applegate spoke to council, and said after receiving feedback on the first year of the festival, several people recommended bringing the art displays closer together. Applegate said everything will be located closer to the Grundy County Courthouse at this year's event.

Morris Cruise Nights founder Herb Wyeth also spoke to council and presented the dates and request use of streets for 2016 Morris Cruise Nights. Wyeth also expressed a desire to upgrade the downtown Morris outdoor sound system, which has become a bit outdated, he said. Mayor Richard Kopczick requested that Wyeth get an estimate together for the project.

In news out of the Judiciary and License Committee, representatives from Montage Wine Bar & Spirits discussed a possible application for a Class A liquor license. The establishment is considering a change from a Class K1 liquor license, in order to offer more types of liquor and thus, expand its craft cocktail menu.

The license wouldn’t be active until May 2 if approved after a formal application because that is when all liquor licenses for the year are made active. Kopczick noted May 1 is a Sunday and city operations are closed. Committee members gave favorable feedback on the proposed change and owner Michelle Xydakis will return with a formal application in the coming months.

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