By JOHN KLINE
THE GOSHEN NEWS
GOSHEN — Goshen is now one step closer to getting a new and very large child care center.
Goshen Board of Public Works and Safety members Monday officially accepted the dedication of right-of-way and easements and granted plat approval to a petition by Dzung Nguyen and Marlin Yoder, represented by the firm Jones, Petrie, Rafinski (JPR), seeking a three-lot major commercial subdivision to provide for development of a new child care center along Elkhart and Peddler’s Village roads on Goshen’s west side.
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 Rhonda Yoder, planning and zoning administrator for the city, the subject property covers approximately 7.7 acres and is generally located at 3202 and 3212 Elkhart Road with an additional portion of the property at 2909 Peddler’s Village Road.
Yoder noted that the petition currently seeks to take the two parcels and the additional portion of adjacent property and subdivide them into three lots, with Lot 3 being used for the child care center while Lots 1 and 2 will be retained by the current owner for future development.
Monday’s ruling by the Board of Works follows the Goshen Plan Commission’s primary approval of the petition during its Aug. 20 meeting, which according to Yoder was contingent upon the Board of Works accepting the dedication of right-of-way and easements for the project at Monday’s meeting.
“On this plat there is a dedication of right-of-way of 40 feet from the center line north along Peddler’s Village Road,” Yoder said, “and there are a number of easements on the plat.”
According to Yoder, there are several aspects of the proposed plan that do not currently meet the subdivision standards set by the city. However, Yoder noted that the petition was brought before the Goshen Board of Zoning Appeals in April where it successfully received variances for those deficiencies.
All in all, five developmental variances were approved by the BZA during its April meeting. Those variances 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.
When questioned by board member Michael Landis about how vehicles will gain access to the site, Yoder said that the new child care center will be accessible from both Peddler’s Village Road and U.S. 33.
“This is adjacent to Goshen Buick, so it’s going to be a shared access for the existing Goshen Buick access,” Yoder said. “So that access from U.S. 33 will serve all three of those lots, and then there’s going to be a secondary access from Peddler’s Village Road which will also go all the way through.”
In referencing why the new property would need two access points, Yoder said it was the desire of the property owners to use the alternate Peddler’s Village Road access as a way to help lessen congestion and ultimately improve safety.
“The child care center, which is going to be on Lot 3, really wanted an alternative to U.S. 33, because if you get a lot of people doing left turns on U.S. 33 — although there is a left turn lane there — it’s just safer if you don’t have all the traffic coming in that way,” Yoder said. “So they wanted an access off of Peddler’s Village Road.”
With acceptance of the plat, dedication of right-of-way and easements for the property by the Board of Works now official, the petition must now head back to the Goshen Plan Commission to seek secondary plat approval.
In other business, the board:
• Approved the promotion of Private Jerod Erb to the rank of sergeant for the Goshen Fire Department effective Thursday.
• Approved a change order for the Maple City Greenway-Fidler Pond Park at a cost of $14,857. The change order, which brings the total cost of the project to $77,884, was needed in order to remove excess topsoil and concrete on the property before installation of the new driveway and parking area.
• Approved a change order for the Dickerson Landing Phase II project at a cost of $2,252, bringing the total contract price to $177,226.
• Approved a change order for the Electric Brew Bump-Out project at a cost of $4,095. The change order, which brings the total cost of the project to $13,296, was needed due to the additional portion of concrete that was removed in the alleyway when it was found that the existing concrete was broken and did not provide a good transition for the new concrete to tie into.
• Declared 821 water meters as surplus property and voted to allow the city’s Utility Department to sell the meters as surplus property.
• Approved the closing of Jefferson Street between Main and Fifth streets from today until Nov. 15 to allow for construction on the Jefferson Street Reconstruction project. As part of that project, Main Street between Madison and Jefferson will also be closed to all northbound traffic. Southbound traffic should not be affected.
• Approved the closing of Fifth Street between Jefferson and Madison for approximately one week to allow for the installation of a water main.