Goshen News, Goshen, IN

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January 11, 2013

RV expansion on hold

LAGRANGE — The owner of Forks RV had to stop operating some of his manufacturing operations, was fined and now has to go before the LaGrange Board of Zoning Appeals.

According to LaGrange County records, Howard Stutzman, owner of Forks RV in Shipshewana, was running out of manufacturing space. He attempted to temporarily move some of his manufacturing to another property, he owned, at 0225 N. 1150 West on the Elkhart County line. But that property was zoned agricultural A-1, not for manufacturing use.

Stutzman was served a cease and desist order and fined $150, according to county records. He stopped his operation and is scheduled to appeare before the LaGrange BZA at its 7 p.m. Tuesday meeting in the county annex building.

Stutzman is petitioning the BZA for a zoning variance so he can continue work on that 2-acre property. If the BZA grants him a land-use variance he will then begin the process of drawing up engineering site plans for the new location.

Bob Shanahan, county zoning administrator, said there are a few more things that have to be approved before Stutzman can continue. “The request for a variance is only the first step,” Shanahan said.

After the plans have been presented at a Planning Commission meeting, there will be a site-plan review. County officials will be checking to make sure the plans are up to code requirements, including: traffic flow, ingress, egress, drainage, utility service, well and storm water run-off, etc.

The property has a Middlebury mailing address, but it is in LaGrange County.

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