Commissioners give nod to home business expansion | News

GOSHEN — A large home business looking to expand got some good news from the Elkhart County Board of Commissioners Monday.

At the meeting, board members approved a request by Randall and Beth Yoder, represented by Surveying and Mapping LLC, for a zoning change from Agricultural-1 to Detailed Planned Unit Development Business-3 for a property located at 27453 CR 150 in Union Township. In addition, the petition also included a request for primary approval of a one-lot minor subdivision to be known as R. Yoder DPUD B-3.

According to Elkhart County Zoning Administrator Jason Auvil, the petitioners had actually received a special use variance for the property in the recent past by the Elkhart County Board of Zoning Appeals. However, he noted that the variance was granted with a two-year limit due to concerns board members had with the growing number of outside employees at the business and the potential impact that could have on the neighborhood. He also noted that the petitioners had requested the addition of a sign at the property.

“So, in order to remove that two-year limit and to add that sign, it was recommended to the petitioner to do a DPUD in which the County Commissioner’s have final say over that request,” Auvil said.

Debrah Hughes, a representative of Surveying and Mapping LLC, was also present during Monday’s meeting to add a bit of background to the request.

“This property was a home business started by Randall Yoder,” Hughes said. “Over the years the business grew, and his back barn became the business center. The business added buildings.”

Hughes noted that Yoder has since passed on, and his son and nephews wish to continue and expand the business, which is the reason for the requested zoning change.

“So, the DPUD actually enlarges the area that covers the business into the field, and defines and 8-plus acre area that would represent the business,” Hughes said, noting that any remaining farm land would stay agriculturally zoned. “They do have 30 employees now, so they’re continuing to grow. So, Jason is correct that it is no longer appropriate for a special use. It’s time to look at the rezoning.”

Hughes also noted that the business would be considered a commercial business, which is why the family would like to add a sign to the property.

“They’ve operated there at this location for a long time,” Hughes added. “There’s no conflict with the neighbors. The Yoder Family owns the property to the north, south and west of this. So, there’s a big buffer to the subdivision to the east there. And they’re about a quarter mile from Ind. 19, so a majority of the traffic goes out to Ind. 19 and does not cause a hazard to the neighborhood.”

Asked if it would be possible for the family to expand the business in the future under the new zoning designation, Auvil noted that if it were an expansion of 10% or less of what is existing, that could be done administratively, while an expansion of between 10% to 20% would need to be done through the Elkhart County Plan Commission.

“And if it’s more than 20%, it would have to be brought as an amendment back to the County Commissioners,” he added.

The requested changes were approved unanimously.

OTHER BUSINESS

In other business, the commissioners:

• Approved a request by the Elkhart County Highway Department to adopt a 45 mph speed limit on Old CR 17 between CR 28 and CR 30.

• Approved a second request by the Elkhart County Highway Department to install a “No Trucks” sign on CR 101 between CR 6 and the dead end at the Indiana Toll Road.

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