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by: Angelle Barbazon
Elkhart Truth

Mike Yoder, County Commissioner (photo, Elkhart Truth)

GOSHEN — More than a year after changes to Elkhart County’s zoning ordinance were voted down, a group of almost 30 people has been asked to take the reins for the second go-around.

The Elkhart Plan Commission appointed members to a pair of committees that will oversee updates to the zoning ordinance, which has guided the county’s development for the past 40 years. The group will aim to make the ordinance easier to understand with more modern definitions and information about zoning rules. Chris Godlewski, the county’s planning director, said the committees will also try to resolve conflicts that came up last year, including pyramid zoning, residential uses in agricultural areas and zoning rules around airports.

A mix of realtors, builders and others will form a policy committee to shape the zoning ordinance. The technical committee will include county staff spanning several departments to further guide the ordinance’s development. The two committees will also include members of the plan commission, the county Board of Zoning Appeals and board attorney Jim Kolbus, who will be a non-voting member.

“I think the goal was to be as wide ranging as possible,” Godlewski said.
Though no one was subtracted from Godlewski’s proposed list of committee members, plan commission member Steve Warner was not initially satisfied with the appointment of an Elkhart County Farm Bureau spokesman, Dwight Moudy.

“I personally have a problem with placing someone on the policy committee belonging to a group that threatened to file suit against the plan commission regarding the zoning ordinance,” Warner said.

Last year, the Farm Bureau charged that the revisions to the county’s zoning ordinance infringed on land use rights and put property values at risk. In May, Moudy offered to help the plan commission as it moves forward with updating the ordinance again.

Read more here.

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