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Monaco Coach Corp. will buy 48 acres of vacant land near its Wakarusa, Ind., factory even though it has no current plans to build any production facilities on the property.
Monaco, based in Coburg, Ore., received on Thursday (April 11) partial approval for its rezoning request from the Elkhart (Ind.) County Plan Commission, according to the Elkhart (Ind.) Truth.
“We can work with that solution,” said Richard Bond, Monaco’s senior vice president and chief administrative officer.
Monaco still needs approval from the Elkhart County Board of Commissioners, who will consider the issue next month.
Monaco has no immediate plans to build on the 48 acres because the company, which had $937 million in sales last year, has enough capacity at its existing plants to build $1.5 billion worth of motorhomes and towable RVs per year, according to Mike Duncan, investor relations manager.
Monaco decided to buy the property, estimated to be worth at least $240,000, because the current owner is offering to sell it to the company, Duncan told the newspaper.
“Just because you don’t have plans (to build) today … you never know when your business conditions change,” Duncan added.
Monaco did not get the plan commission to agree to rezone all of the 48 acres from residential to manufacturing. Also, it received approval for only two of the three entrances on to the property that it requested.
Some nearby homeowners told the plan commission that they are opposed to Monaco expanding because of the traffic and noise a new factory would create. One homeowner said he did not want fiberglass curing to take place on the site.
Other homeowners said the would prefer that the property be used for new homes, while others would prefer that it remain vacant.
Wakarusa is 15 miles south of Elkhart, where Monaco also has production facilities.