GOSHEN The subdivision proposal that would allow for the construction of a Culver’s restaurant in the northeast section of Maple City Chapel’s parking lot received primary approval Tuesday afternoon, July 16, but not before some heated discussion on the topic.
Much like the first time the subdivision came before Goshen’s Plan Commission, much of the discussion centered on the private easements that were set in place when the area near the intersection of Lincolnway East and Eisenhower Drive was first developed.
Discussion turned to the topic of the easements after a rough outline of the site plan including them was provided to the commission, despite not being a requirement for the primary approval meeting.
The location and dimensions of the easements would not have been required until Culver’s and the church returned to the Plan Commission seeking final approval of the subdivision.
Glenn Duncan, counsel for Campbell and Fetter Bank, stated his client wished to protect their private easement and opposed the possibility that the church’s and Culver’s plan would block the easement in front of the church.
The church would like access to the easement off Eisenhower Drive to be blocked, out of concern for the safety of parishioners and people attending community events at the church. But Duncan said Campbell and Fetter feared traffic issues near their area would occur as a result of the blockage due to rerouting of traffic.
Duncan asked that the commission table the primary subdivision decision for a third time to allow the involved parties to work out the issues regarding the easements.
If that could not be done, Duncan said, he asked that the commission give its primary approval only on the condition that the private easements not be blocked.
“We are not willing to give up our private easement,” Duncan explained.
Steve Olsen, representing Maple City Chapel, argued that the city had no authority to place a condition on approval pertaining to the easements because they are private and out of the control of the commission.
Planning and Zoning Administrator Rhonda Yoder reminded the commission that the commission’s role was not to make decisions on elements that were only required on the secondary subdivision.
“Your role is deciding, does the proposed subdivision meet the ordinance requirements?” Yoder said. “If they can’t meet the conditions for secondary approval, there will be no secondary approval.”
Yoder explained that since the subdivision itself met the city’s requirements, there was no need to table the issue further and said primary approval needed to be given.
The primary approval for the subdivision passed unanimously after that clarification so Culver’s and Maple City Chapel will begin meeting the already-established conditions before hoping to receive secondary approval.