Microbrewery approved for Route 7 in Ridgefield
RIDGEFIELD — Locally brewed beer could be served in a new pub on Route 7 as soon as this year, thanks to an amendment to zoning laws approved at Tuesday’s Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.
A business that will be named Nod Hill Brewery successfully added two new definitions — “brewery” and “brewpub” — to existing zoning regulations so it could acquire a special permit to operate at 137 Ethan Allen Highway.
Attorney Bob Jewell, who represented the proposed brewery’s owner, Robert Kaye, said he decided adding a new definition to zoning regulations was the best course of action after researching other towns in the area that had made similar changes.
“There were several uses [in the existing laws] that would kind of include a brewery,” Jewell said. “But we felt, and we met with the commission early on, that it’d be best to amend the regulations and add the new definition.”
The new brewery would use 2,440 square feet of an existing building to create a 1,765 square-foot brewing and storage facility and a 675-square-foot tap room where patrons could sample beers and enjoy snacks.
Riverside Fencing, which operates in the same building and is also owned by Kaye, will continue to run alongside his brewery.
The permit, which was discussed at a public hearing last week and then approved on Tuesday, included a few restrictions.
The business will have limited hours of operation and would be required to add a ventilation system should the commission determine it produces objectionable odors.
Jewell said there weren’t many stipulations necessary since the brewery will also be regulated at the state and federal level.
“Now that they have approval to operate at this location, they can put together their applications and submit them to the federal and state government,” Jewell said. “I don’t really have an idea of how long that will take, but I suspect it’s going to be a pretty lengthy process.”
Aside from some discussion on wording of the permit at the Tuesday meeting, the commission seemed to agree that the amendment was a necessary update to the law.
“If we had thought to include this before, we probably would have,” commission member John Katz said. “But at the time we weren’t thinking of this definition ...”