Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

March 6, 2013

Goshen City Council approves rezoning of Fidler’s Pond for use as a park

GOSHEN — The process of converting the old Fidler’s Pond property into a city park has cleared another hurdle.

Goshen City Council members Tuesday approved a request by the Goshen Park Board to rezone several sections of Fidler’s Pond currently zoned Manufacturing-1 to Residential-1 in order to match the adjacent residential zoning and allow for the development of the property as a city park.

The request was initially approved by the Goshen City Plan Commission during its Feb. 19 meeting, where commission members voted unanimously to send the request on to the City Council with a favorable recommendation.

According to Rhonda Yoder, planning and zoning administrator for the city, public parks are a conditional use permitted in all residential zoning districts, Agriculture-1 districts and Planned Unit Development districts, subject to four requirements:

• No building or structure shall be located closer than 50 feet from any residential use or residential zoning district boundary line;

• Parks intended to serve areas larger than the immediate neighborhood in which it is located shall have vehicle access to and from an arterial or collector street;

• Parking areas shall be screened from residential uses or residential zoning district boundary lines, when possible; and

• Lighting for nighttime activities shall be so arranged and sheltered as to prevent illumination, glare, or reflection on adjacent properties.

“About half of it is already existing R-1, and the north half is M-1,” said Yoder. “So the M-1 portion needs to be rezoned in order for it to be permitted in to that conditional us section. There is R-1 to the north and all around to the south, and really the only impacted adjacent properties would be the fairgrounds and Aggregate, and the rezoning will not affect them.”

The pond, located at 1424 Lincolnway East, was originally used as a gravel quarry first in the 1940s by the Fidler family company and then later by Aggregate Industries.

The property was officially purchased by the Goshen Parks and Recreation Department this past December at a cost of approximately $550,000 with the goal of transforming the idle pond into a destination for outdoor activities such as swimming, fishing and non-motorized boating.

Other Business

• The council voted to table a proposed amendment to the Building Department Fee Ordinance that would have allowed for an increase in the fees for the registration of each rental dwelling unit, hotel or rooming house in the city of Goshen. With the amendment, biennial registration for each rental dwelling unit in the city would have been raised to $40, while annual registration for each hotel or rooming house in the city would increase to $75. The amendment was tabled in order to allow council members more time to research the proposal and its possible impact on rental property owners and their patrons.

• The council voted on first reading to approve an additional appropriation of $300,000 from the Economic Development Income Tax (EDIT) fund to go toward contractual services for the Jefferson Street Reconstruction project that has been in the works for several years.

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

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