Rezoning approved for microbrewery

On April 10th, David Peitzman of the Tidal Brewing Company appeared before the Planning and Zoning (P&Z) commission to request rezoning of the former Mobil station on the corner of Spring Hill Drive and Barclay Drive in order to open a small microbrewery.

A microbrewery is a limited-production brewery, typically producing specialty beers and often selling its products only locally. Rezoning is necessary in order to dispense alcoholic beverages, as well as to allow for warehouse facilities and local distribution at this location.

Pristine Place resident Francis Carter objected to the rezoning petition. Carter told the commission that his property faces the back of the plaza, which contains four other businesses, and that there are already elevated noise levels from commercial vehicles. He objects against adding a bar with distribution capability.

Mr. Peitzman addressed the noise concerns, stating that the plan for his microbrewery is “not to be a loud bar at night … we will probably close at ten or eleven, even on the weekends.” He added that “we are trying to be a positive member of the community, not a negative influence on anything.”

According to P&Z Commissioner Ronald Cohen, the former Mobil gas station and convenience store’s hours were from 6AM to midnight, and by nature of the business resulted high traffic. He anticipates that the microbrewery would produce fewer vehicles entering and exiting the establishment. He suggested adding a special condition to the application that limits the hours of deliveries to the microbrewery.

Commissioner Alia Qureshi noted that there are other business residing in the same plaza that also take deliveries and established that the number and size of delivery vehicles will not differ from what is already acceptable to the plaza. The exception will be vehicles used in the initial construction.

There was a significant amount of discussion that addressed the need for fencing or additional landscaping to provide a noise buffer and line-of-sight opacity to nearby homes. Commissioner Cohen, who lives near the building, describes the existing landscaping as having dense vegetation, and contends that erecting a fence that would require removal of trees. Commissioners Comunale and Scharch also agreed that additional landscaping would be a better choice.

The Planning and Zoning Commision moved to add a condition limiting the hours of deliveries and the rezoning petition was unanimously approved.

Prior to presenting to the Board of County Commissioners, the P&Z Staff took several photos of the area. The photos showed a substantial berm with mature trees already in place between the proposed microbrewery location and the Pristine Place entrance roadway.

County Commissioner Steve Champion recalled that when the Mobil station was operational, parking was scarce and vehicular access when coming from the West ‘was awful.’ The problem with parking was again addressed, and an additional eight to twelve parking spaces are planned, possibly opposite the building, facing Spring Hill Drive. Peitzman also stated that conversations have taken place with Advance Auto to possibly use some of their parking spaces.

Another question raised was that of the underground gasoline tanks, which have been sealed per Florida statute, and can remain in place up to ten years before they are required to be removed.

Commissioner Champion explained that his concerns about parking and access “are looking at it from the business point of view, and I want you to succeed.” Champion moved to approve the rezoning, which passed unanimously.

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