By JOHN KLINE
THE GOSHEN NEWS
Goshen Board of Zoning Appeals members gave their blessing to the establishment of both a new health and wellness business and child care center during their meeting Tuesday afternoon.
First to be approved Tuesday was a request by Jeffrey and Carla Cooper for a use variance to allow a business, Pathway to Wellness, to be established within a residence currently owned by the couple at 1800 Bashor Road, Goshen. The business would offer nutritional counseling, allergy identification, microcurrent point stimulation and infrared sauna services
According to Rhonda Yoder, planning and zoning administrator for the city, the property in question is currently zoned Residential-3, where medical offices are currently permitted only in Business-2, Business-3, and Business-4 zoning districts and as a conditional use in Business-1 districts.
However, Yoder noted that the lot directly east and adjacent to the subject property, 1722 Bashor Road, is currently home to the optometrist practice of Cripe, Stephens and Stickel, which abuts a Commercial B-3 zoning district. Yoder also pointed out that the 1722 Bashor Road property was granted a use variance in 1989 to permit a professional office in a R-3 zoning district.
“This is on the edge of a commercial zoned district, but it is surrounded by residential zoning,” Yoder said. “The use to the east is an optometrist’s office, which was granted a use variance. That property is adjacent to commercial property, but this property is not. So the request is for a use variance to allow the business as described.”
According to Carla Cooper, operation of the new business will be limited to just three days a week between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. with Cooper, a certified nutritional counselor and natural health professional, being the only employee working on site. In addition, Cooper added that all business conducted at the office will be by appointment only, and likely limited to between four and five individual visits per day.
Among the commitments added was a statement indicating that the subject property shall be used for the Pathway to Wellness business only, and when the business no longer operates at the site, the subject property will revert back to a permitted residential use. That commitment, board members said, will help to ensure that the surrounding residential neighborhood is not compromised by future sale of the property. Other commitments added included limiting the number of employees on site to one, limiting business hours to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. three days a week, and limiting all visits to appointment only.
Child Care Center
Also approved by the board Tuesday was a petition by property owner Dzung Nguyen, represented by the firm Jones, Petrie, Rafinski, seeking five developmental variances to allow for the development of a proposed three-lot subdivision and commercial development of a new child care center to be located at 3202 and 3212 Elkhart Road, Goshen.
According to the petition, the site currently consists of two parcels that will be divided into three lots, with the new child care center to be built on Lot 3.
Named Growing Kids Learning Center, the new center will be built on an area of approximately two acres and will be licensed to handle 248 children and approximately 30 employees. Parking at the site will include approximately 48 spaces.
According to Yoder, the city zoning ordinance contains two different parking standards for child care centers. The conditional use requirement for this particular site would require 26 parking spaces, one per 10 children plus one additional space, while the parking table requires 65 spaces, one per two employees plus one per five children.
The five developmental variances approved by the board Tuesday included:
• Allowing the designation of a lot with less than required frontage on a dedicated street;
• Allowing primary building access from private shared access easements, where direct access to a public street or approved private street is required;
• Allowing a lot size of 2 acres where 2.85 acres is required for a child care center licensed for 248 children;
• Allowing 48 parking spaces where 65 parking spaces are required for a child care center licensed for 248 children and 30 employees; and
• Allowing a reduction of the required landscaping along the south property line from 20 coniferous trees and 41 shrubs to 25 total plants.