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Revisions to zoning laws still on track

Revisions to Elkhart Count's zoning rules are expected to be finished by the end of next year.
Posted on Nov. 9, 2012 at 12:00 a.m.

GOSHEN — New updates to Elkhart County’s zoning ordinance are still on track.

A pair of committees that started revising the county’s zoning rules in October plan to have the ordinance completed and published online by the end of next year. The two groups took on the task of reexamining the ordinance about a year and a half after it was criticized for being too restrictive.

Brian Mabry, county planning and zoning manager, told the Elkhart County Plan Commission on Thursday that the committees, which include county staff and people from the community, want to make the zoning ordinance easier to use, more modern and interactive. For example, the ordinance’s online table of contents and index will be clickable and easy to navigate, Mabry said. The new ordinance would also be more visual, using graphs, tables and illustrations.

Another goal is to make the ordinance’s wording easier to understand by using plain English and adding more definitions for clarity.

Mabry said he hopes the revised ordinance will allow code enforcement to become more proactive rather than complaint driven.

Coming up in December, the plan commission will discuss how to approach conflicting residential and agricultural uses in the county.

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