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Shipshewana greenhouse gets okay


A commercial greenhouse looking to be the first business along an extension of Morton St. north of the Shipshewana Town Hall had a site plan approved Monday evening by the LaGrange County Plan Commission.

However, the project is still on hold as the subdivision has yet to be approved, pending the receipt of a letter of credit from the developer to ensure the construction of the proposed road.

Planning Administrator Bob Shanahan told the commission that he had expected the letter of assurance of credit by Monday, but it had not been received by his office. Therefore, the one-lot subdivision that the proposed greenhouse will sit on has not been approved.

The site plan had been updated with changes suggested when it was returned to the plat committee in October, and met with approval Monday, pending finalization of the subdivision.

In other business:

Shanahan asked the commission to consider allowing him to approve some site plans that he felt did not need to come before the full commission. Shanahan referred to some site plans as “slam dunks.” He noted that a small addition to a large industrial building would be a case where he felt the administrator could approve the site plan. He suggested that he could also consult with commission members County Surveyor Rex Pranger and Steve Engleking from the Purdue Extension Service, who work in the LaGrange County Office Building, before any approval.

The commission discussed having a size limit, perhaps based on a percentage of overall square footage involved in construction. Legal counsel Lisa Bowen-Slaven also recommended looking at forming an executive committee that could take action on those types of items.

The commission is expected to discuss the idea further at their January meeting.

A commercial kitchen addition to the Garden Gate Café on Morton St. in Shipshewana was approved. The 637 sq. ft. addition will have a kitchen and ADA compliant restrooms.

The commission approved a positive recommendation for Kooistra Acres at 2205S 00EW, for a rezone from B-3 to an A-1 zone. The single lot had been rezoned when a small business had operated there.

Marion Mennonite Church at 5460N 450W in Shipshewana had a site plan for a 60x112 ft. addition approved.

Agra Feeds received approval for a commodity storage building for the production of animal feed at 1065N 625W in Shipshewana.

F.D. Miller Feed & Supply at 9690W 200S in Shipshewana had a site plan for a retail farm supply business and greenhouse approved.

Marvin Mast of 2635W 450S in LaGrange had his application for a 36x80 ft. hoop barn for sawdust storage and AFO approved.



Creekside Lawn Furniture, near 110S on CR 1100W, was approved for a vinyl furniture manufacturing business.

Shanahan reported that as of Nov. 21, the office had taken in a total of $58,432 in fees, which is in line with 2011, when the office collected a total of $59,618. Zoning certificates were the highest amount, with $16,980 collected. Variance fees totaled $15,480.