Brewpub proposal draws continued concern

Dewey Beach Planning Commission gets answers during workshop
Some questions over a proposed brewpub in Dewey Beach were answered during a Dewey Beach Planning Commission workshop Feb. 22, but some issues remain. One of the biggest questions is how the property's parking lot will accommodate trash pick-up, food delivery and patrons. BY CHRIS FLOOD
February 25, 2014

Story Location:
Dewey Beach  Delaware  19971
United States

The Dewey Beach Planning Commission continues to discuss conditions it wants to impose on a proposed brewpub that is seeking a conditional use permit.

At a public workshop on Feb. 22, the commission whittled down a long list of conditions from nearly 50 to 39, of which 27 would apply to any new restaurant attempting to open in town. The meeting was a continuation of a Feb. 1 review of the application.

The 12 conditions specific to the proposed brewpub include the regulating the size of the operation (the applicant is proposing a 7-barrel system, producing 70 barrels a week) and hours of brewing, odors emitted during brewing and the amount of building floor space used for the brewery function.

The proposed brewpub calls for a gourmet, farm-to-table restaurant at the old Bubba’s Grill location at 2100 Coastal Highway. In previous commission meetings, applicants Brandon Smith, Clinton Bunting and Mike Reilly have said the brewing system would be a secondary component to the food menu.

The location has no liquor license and would need to obtain one from the Delaware Alcoholic Beverage Control Commissioner before any brewery-related activities could occur.

The applicants cannot get a liquor license from the ABCC without a certificate of compliance from the town.

The workshop was attended by Fred Townsend, town attorney, and William Mears, town building official and enforcement officer, so specific questions on what kind of conditions the commissioners can and can’t impose upon the applicant could be answered.

Several times Mears reassured the commissioners that some of their concerns – fire safety, storage of the propane tank that will heat the kettle, food storage – would be handled by the appropriate authorities – county planning, fire marshal, state board of health, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control – and that it was best to allow them to enforce their regulations instead imposing special regulations on the brewpub.

At one point, the commissioners asked Mears if he thought they were being unfair to applicant, but before he could respond Townsend jumped in and told Mears to not answer the question.

“It was simply a rhetorical question,” Townsend said.

Commissioner Mike Paraskevich questions the layout of the building, which was built prior to town code and is a legal nonconforming commercial and residential structure. He wants to know where a wall separating commercial from residential will be located. He also wants to know of any potential uses for the door on a small bumpout on the north end of the property.

He said he is not satisfied with the site plan because it has not been certified and signed by a professional engineer.

“I think it’s bogus they’ve not given us certified plans,” he said.

The commission is expected to make its recommendation to Dewey Town Council during a meeting on Saturday, March 1. The meeting is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will take place at Dewey Beach Life Saving Station Museum, 1 Dagsworthy Ave.

As part of the future meeting, commissioners will expect the applicants to explain delivery and trash removal operations, as well as the brewing process from start to finish.


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