By JOHN KLINE
THE GOSHEN NEWS
GOSHEN — A new McDonald’s restaurant and gas station may soon be on their way to Jefferson Township.
Elkhart County Plan Commission members Thursday granted preliminary approval of a petition by Gloria Kopf and Kuert Concrete Inc., represented by Jones Petrie Refinski, for a zone map change involving approximately 26 acres of land located at 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 Ken Jones of 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 on the site to allow for the construction of the proposed gas station/convenience store and McDonald’s restaurant. Jones indicated that project costs could range between $1 million to $1.5 million.
“This whole project came about because of the desire of the petitioner to build a convenience store/restaurant on this former site,” Jones said. “In 2006, the last property use there was a manufactured home sales, and it was pretty weak, and it evaporated. Before that there was a restaurant on that site, but it was never really developed to any significant standard. We’re back today to redevelop this underperforming key location.”
In describing how the new gas station/restaurant will look, Jones described the overall height of the proposed building as a single story building under ordinance requirement of 60 feet, with construction to include an anticipated mixture of brick, block, stone and eifs. In addition to the planned gas station and restaurant, the plan also calls for a possible car wash to be constructed on the property.
In describing how vehicles will be able to enter and exit the property, Jones noted that modifications to U.S. 20 and Ind. 15 will occur in accordance with the Indiana Department of Transportation approved Traffic Impact Study. 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. Jones noted that Kuert Concrete will have gated access to their site from the proposed shared drive. Jones also noted that the proposed access drive to U.S. 20 will be restricted to a right-in/right-out configuration due to the existing median located along U.S. 20.
When asked about the site’s proposed water and sewer design, Jones noted that due to the fact that there are no existing public utilities available in the proposed construction area, the Kopf Development site will 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, due to the fact that there is currently not adequate room for constructing an on-site septic system on the Kopf Development site, sanitary waste will need to be pumped to an off-site sanitary mound system. In order to accommodate that need, Jones indicated that the Kopf Trucking site will be split into two parcels, one containing the existing trucking operation, and one for the proposed septic system located on the south end of the property.
While the preliminary petition by Kopf and Kuert Concrete was approved by the Plan Commission Thursday, a request for secondary approval of the Kuert-Kopf DPUD was tabled until the commission’s upcoming March 14 meeting in order to allow for a pending Storm Water Pollution Protection Plan to be approved for the development plan.
Should the secondary approval be approved by the commission March 14, the request would then move on to the Elkhart County Board of Commissioners March 19 for final approval and possible passage.
“The site is complicated, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t go forward, it just means we have to work a little harder to overcome the constraints,” Jones said. “Our job in this case was to overcome the constraints of the site, and we have a very good plan that will do it.”