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Microbreweries for South Cape gain initial nod

By Staff | Oct 1, 2014

Establishing microbreweries in the South Cape district cleared its first hurdle Monday night when City Council members showed support for the idea hatched several months ago through the CRA Board of Commissioners.

“I am all for the idea of bringing microbreweries to Cape Coral, but am not sure we should put production limits on them,” said Councilmember Richard Leon, who then joked, “I think the more beer in Cape Coral the better for me.”

Monday’s first public hearing on allowing artisan breweries, artisan distilleries, artisan wineries and brewpubs to locate in the South Cape returns for approval at a second and final public hearing Oct. 20.

Two ordinances were before council on the matter, one allowing them in the South Cape and a second allowing them throughout the city in designated zoning districts. Limits on production up to 10,000 barrels of beer, 40,000 proof gallons of alcohol or 3,000 cases of wine earns the designation of permitted use.

A special exception use permit would be required to produce up to 20,000 barrels of beer, 75,000 proof gallons alcohol or 5,000 cases of wine.

Brewpubs, defined as restaurants which also brew beer on the premises to sell and serve to guests, would be allowed to locate in commercial (C-1), Village, Corridor (CORR) and Marketplace Residential (MR) zoned districts with parking and production restrictions.

City staff presentations showed the benefits of allowing these types of businesses to promote tourism, fits well with the entertainment district idea, provides greater flexibility to property owners, stimulates economic activity and encourages the reuse of vacant or underperforming buildings.

Drawbacks include disposal of waste grains stored outside the building creating issues with odors, noise from loading and unloading product, and increased commercial trips to the sites. Staff recommended approval.

“There can be pungent odors associated with these businesses,” said Councilmember Jim Burch. “The odor is much worse than the noise factor for me.”

Council will address the issues of noise, traffic and odor for the Oct. 20 final public hearing.

PDP requirements for Oldcastle Precast Concrete

The ordinance repealing three Planned Development Project (PDP) restrictions on the Oldcastle Precast Concrete property on Pondella Road sailed through council 7-0.

City officials have been besieged over the last decade with complaints of noise and after hours manufacturing going on at the plant, but no one approached the podium to voice objections Monday night, not even Jim Johnson, the most vocal and persistent resident who met with and corresponded with staff and council members numerous times.

“I am disappointed that Mr. Johnson is not here tonight,” said Mayor Marni Sawicki. “He took up a lot of our time in discussing this over the years and he didn’t show up.”

The Oldcastle property was recently rezoned to a corridor zoning. The new designation removes the requirement for a PDP plan to be in place for the business to operate.

Leon made the motion to approve the ordinance repeals and Councilmember Rana Erbrick seconded.

Council’s next meeting is at 4:30 p.m., Monday, Oct. 6.