BRISTOL — The Bristol Town Council sided both with residents and the Elkhart County Planning Commission in denying a request for a business rezoning.

The new business, Aero Industrial Surplus, would have been on the south side of S.R. 15, about half a mile north of Vistula Street.

The petitioner requested to change the zoning from R1 to B2 but was not present at the council meeting Thursday.

The property has previously had a petition on it for a different industrial use, which was denied by both the planning commission and the council.

The Elkhart County Planning Commission recommended in its last meeting to deny the current proposal also.

Residents suggested that the plans were to use the property as a salvage yard, and that they were not OK with it.

Several nearby residents attended to voice their concerns.

“When they put in the industrial park, it was zoned in as a buffer zone,” neighbor Tim Irons said. “All of the Copper Canyon (subdivision) was supposed to be the buffer zone. We keep annexing into that buffer zone.”

Residents also argued that with the flood plain and river runoff along the property, manufacturing waste could easily make its way into the Little Elkhart River.

Bob Miller, whose property borders the property in question, said the site ought to be used as residential property and not for manufacturing.

Councilman Delbert Schrock motioned to table the discussion, but the motion died and councilwoman Cathy Burke motioned to instead affirm the denial made by the planning commission.


Also at the meeting, the Lakota annexation took another step forward with its acceptance on first reading.

Effective date of annexation could not be sooner than Jan. 1 because properties cannot be annexed in the year prior to a census year. Final adoption will be at the Nov. 21 meeting.

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