By JOHN KLINE
THE GOSHEN NEWS
Elkhart County Commissioners Monday gave their blessing to the development of a new McDonald’s restaurant and gas station in Jefferson Township.
During Monday’s meeting, the commissioners approved a petition by Gloria Kopf and Kuert Concrete Inc., represented by Jones Petrie Refinski (JPR), for a zone map change involving approximately 26 acres of land on the southeast corner of Ind. 15 and U.S. 20 in Jefferson Township.
The petition involves a zone map change for the property from Business-3, Business-3 Planned Unit Development and Detailed Planned Unit Development-Manufacturing-1 to a DPUD-Business-3 and DPUD-Manufacturing-2 to be known as Kuert-Kopf DPUD.
As it sits now, the existing site contains three parcels: the proposed Kopf Development site, the existing Kuert Concrete site, and the existing Kopf Trucking site. The Kopf Trucking and Kuert Concrete sites are currently zoned DPUD-M-1.
According to JPR, the proposed DPUD-B-3 zoning classification would provide the correct zoning needed for the proposed Kopf Development site, which would include demolishing an existing building to allow for the construction of the proposed gas station/convenience store and McDonald’s restaurant. In addition to the planned gas station and restaurant, the plan also calls for a possible car wash to be constructed on the property. JPR has indicated that project costs could range between $1 million to $1.5 million.
As for what the new gas station/restaurant will look like, JPR described the overall height of the proposed building as a single story building under the ordinance requirement of 60 feet, with construction to include an anticipated mixture of brick, block, stone and exterior insulated panels.
In describing how vehicles will be able to enter and exit the property, JPR noted that modifications to U.S. 20 and Ind. 15 will occur in accordance with the Indiana Department of Transportation approved Traffic impact study.
According to the proposed plan, traffic for the gas station/convenience store and McDonald’s will be able to enter and exit the property from both U.S. 20 or Ind. 15, with the existing driveway to Kuert Concrete being utilized as a shared driveway to both sites. JPR noted that Kuert Concrete will have gated access to its site from the proposed shared drive, while the proposed access drive to U.S. 20 will be restricted to a right-in/right-out configuration due to the median along U.S. 20.
Due to the fact that there are no public utilities available in the proposed construction area, the Kopf Development site will reportedly need to be connected to two proposed on-site wells, one for the gas station/convenience store/McDonald’s and one for the proposed car wash.
However, there is not adequate room for constructing an on-site septic system on the Kopf Development site, so waste will need to be pumped to an off-site mound system. In order to accommodate that need, JPR indicated that the Kopf Trucking site will be split into two parcels, one containing the existing trucking operation, and one for the septic system located on the south end of the property.
“The Plan Commission staff initially had an unfavorable recommendation for this request mainly based on concerns related to private wastewater service on the site and its ability to be maintained and function adequately,” said Brian Mabry, planning, zoning, and code enforcement manager for the Elkhart County Plan Commission. “However, at the Plan Commission meeting in February, the Plan Commission unanimously approved this request.”
County animal control
In other action, the commissioners approved the three agreements establishing animal control services for the city of Goshen and the towns of Bristol and Wakarusa.
According to Elkhart County Administrator Tom Byers, the three agreements are part of a larger, countywide agreement first approved several years ago establishing Elkhart County government as the intermediary between the Elkhart County Humane Society and the city of Elkhart, the city of Goshen and the towns of Middlebury, Bristol and Wakarusa.
“We have three of the five interlocal agreements ready to be signed,” Byers said. “These are for the monies that are given to us by the communities, and then we in turn pay the Humane Society: Goshen for $64,644, Wakarusa for $5,000 and Bristol for $4,000. We’re still waiting for the signed interlocals from the city of Elkhart and the town of Middlebury.”
Byers noted that Elkhart and Middlebury have until the end of March to get their agreements returned to the county. Elkhart is set to pay $115,000 in animal control costs, while Middlebury will pay $5,400
“This is about the way this rolls usually every year,” Byers said. “We usually have a couple that straggle in at the last minute.”