Elkhart County commissioners have signaled they’ll approve a rezoning needed for a controversial recreational vehicle storage lot, but environmental hurdles remain for the project.

The Elkhart Truth reported that Indiana Transport wants to build the lot on 28 acres it recently bought on C.R. 2, just west of the Elkhart/LaGrange County line, but it needs to change the zoning from agricultural to manufacturing. The company, which already operates such a lot at 2311 S. Nappanee St. in Elkhart, would store newly built RVs there until delivery to dealers around the country.

But nearby residents, including those living on or near Stone Lake to the southeast, are fighting the proposal, saying it will ruin their rural and lake lifestyle. They filled the room at a Jan. 8 public hearing before the county plan commission voted 7-0 to send it to commissioners with a favorable recommendation.

Opponents filled every seat again Monday (Feb. 16), at the commissioners meeting, but again didn’t achieve the zoning change denial they sought. After a public hearing and discussion that lasted nearly three hours, commissioners voted unanimously to give tentative approval on the condition of two things:

  • Indiana Transport must plant a row of evergreen trees atop an eight-foot berm on the site’s southern boundary, rather than the proposed prairie grass, to shield noise.
  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers must approve the company’s plans to build a retention pond on the site to handle surface water that runs through the property.

For the full report click here.