By JOHN KLINE
THE GOSHEN NEWS
GOSHEN — Elkhart County Plan Commission members Thursday gave their blessing to the relocation plans of longtime Wakarusa welding and steel fabrication company Southwest Welding LLC.
That blessing came in the form of an approved petition by JB Martin Properties LLC and LDM Real Estate LLC for an amendment to a Detailed Planned Unit Development known as Clayridge Square Fifth DPUD.
Located on the north side of C.R. 42 in Wakarusa, the Clayridge Square Fifth DPUD involves two lots: Lot 9, owned by LDM Real Estate, and Lot 10, owned by JB Martin Properties, with Lot 10 being the primary focus of the petition.
The amendment is being sought in order to allow Southwest Welding LLC to move from its current location on Ind. 19 to 28125 C.R. 42, also known as Lot 10 of the Clayridge Square Fifth DPUD.
“Lot 9, which is the easterly lot, currently houses the business of Southwest Laser, and it will remain unchanged with this amendment,” Shock said. “What we’re asking for is an amendment to Lot 10 to remove the existing farmhouse located in this area and place in approximately the same location a 15,000 square foot structural steel building to be known as Southwest Welding LLC.”
Shock said the company, which has been in the business of fabrication and assembly of steel components since 1990, plans to move its entire facility to the new site.
“The building will be a structural steel building similar in size, shape and color to the Southwest Laser building,” Shock said. “They will be connected to the town of Wakarusa municipal sanitary sewer and water.”
Shock also noted that the company plans to have no outside storage of products on site.
Shock said his group met with the Wakarusa Technical Review Committee April 27.
“We have a favorable staff recommendation and we are asking that you agree to forward this on to the Town Council of Wakarusa for further action,” said Shock.
The commission agreed, with commission member and county surveyor Blake Doriot adding that he is familiar with the Southwest Welding company and expects the operation to be a good fit for the new location.
“I know the operation,” Doriot said, “and I think they’ll be good there.”
In other action, commission members granted secondary approval of a petition by Wagner Land Development Company Inc. for a zone map change from General PUD-Manufacturing-1 to a DPUD-M-1 to be known as Bristol Park for Industry, Phase 2A, DPUD M-1.
Originally approved by the commission during its April meeting, a technical issue involving compliance with a required stormwater protection plan resulted in a delay. County planning staff Thursday indicated that the plat is now in compliance with the subdivision code and recommended the petition be forwarded on to the Bristol Town Council with a favorable recommendation.
According to Chris Marbach of the land surveying and engineering firm Marbach, Brady and Weaver Inc., Elkhart, the zoning change was necessary for Wagner Land Development to sell the property to Bristol-based Alliance Aluminum Products Inc., which has plans to build a 57,000–square–foot building on the property for an aluminum distribution center.
Located on the south side of Commerce Drive, 3,600 feet east of Ind. 15 in Washington Township, the property consists of a five–acre parcel surrounded by a mixture of cropland and wetlands and an existing industrial manufacturing zone.
Marbach noted that the new building will be connected to Bristol sanitary sewer and water, and will also have three new retention areas within the site that will contain any stormwater runoff.
As an added condition, planning staff required that the facility maintain a policy of no outside storage. Planning staff also indicated that a set of proposed protective covenants should also be submitted and recorded for all the cropland and wetland located within affected area.