GOSHEN — County officials approved a plan for an RV distribution center despite concerns with the first impression it could give drivers entering Elkhart County.
The Elkhart County Board of Commissioners approved a zone map change for the Schonsheck Distribution Center on Monday. The center in Washington Township will be used for the predelivery inspection and distribution of RVs.
The board previously voted to rezone the land, which is on the north side of C.R. 6, just east of C.R. 19. Monday’s vote on the planned unit development came after the Elkhart County Plan Commission put three requirements on the project, including providing revised drainage and site plans and using a dust-free material in the parking area.
The center will employ between 40 and 100 people, according to information from Chris Marbach with Marbach, Brady and Weaver Inc. The 77-acre site will have parking for 766 RVs just south of a 112,000-square-foot building.
The plan commission discussed the appearance of the building itself, since it will be visible from the Indiana Toll Road, according to Planning Manager Jason Auvil. Designs provided by Marbach show a squat tan building with over a dozen white garage doors across most sides.
“One of the questions was in terms of the building itself and having enhancements in terms of more aesthetically pleasing, for the facades of the building, to make it look a lot better,” Auvil said. “To kind of mirror things in adjacent areas.”
Some of the county commissioners shared similar concerns with the impression the building could give in what’s considered a gateway area into the county.
“We have this problem in Elkhart County, along the Toll Road, as you travel the Toll Road we’re seeing the backs of buildings, and it’s not great,” Commissioner Mike Yoder said. “And so there’s been an attempt, as we put new buildings in place, that we at least keep in mind that people travel through and it represents our community.”
Marbach pointed out that some vertical brown stripes were added to the design for the north face of the building, so it wouldn’t be just a blank wall. The design also shows a red stripe in the center behind the logo for the facility.
Yoder said it was a nice, clean look, but Commissioner Suzie Weirick indicated she wasn’t sold.
“It’s still not attractive,” she said. “You can put stripes on something, it’s still just a plain building with stripes.”