Roseville hits brakes on brewpub, zoning changes


Mike Munzenrider • The Roseville City Council blocked, for now, a proposed brewpub in a former service station at the corner of Fairview Avenue and County Road D.

The Roseville City Council said not so fast when it came to zoning changes needed to clear the way for a neighborhood brewpub.

The council denied a zoning code amendment July 9 that would have allowed for Kulturwerks Brewing, LLC, to set up shop at the corner of Fairview Avenue and County Road D in what is mainly a residential neighborhood.  

In doing so, the council asked city staff to come back with updated zoning code changes that give the city more discretion.

Members said the zoning changes as presented were too broad, and would prefer to see things such as brewpubs, small breweries and larger breweries to be conditional uses in certain zoning areas, especially in cases like the Kulturwerks proposal where breweries are operating in residential areas.

Council member Tammy McGehee distilled many council members’ thoughts.

“If it’s going to be a neighborhood business, it needs to be conditional,” she said, noting also that she would not support a brewpub at the proposed site, 3133 Fairview Ave., though other council members were more bullish.

She also pointed out that she’d prefer the zoning amendments not to be attached to a particular project. 

Council members noted the zoning changes were needed to keep up with business trends, though such changes would affect the city as a whole and they did not wish to amend city code based on pressure from an actual planned business.

“What I hate to do is legislate, if you will, under the gun of a proposal,” said council member Bob Willmus to murmurs of agreement.

With the council’s intent of revisiting brewery and brewpub zoning, Mayor Dan Roe, who said he voted to deny the zoning change “regrettably,” was optimistic about the brewpub’s future chances.

“We still wish the best of luck to the applicant and perhaps a solution can present itself,” he said.

 

Quiet and walkable

Kulturwerks co-owner Eric Swann told the council the brewpub “is intended to be a small, quiet neighborhood brewery and taproom where patrons can come and enjoy our brews in a quiet atmosphere free of intrusive noise.”

Per city documents, Swann and his business partner, Jason Heger, have a purchase agreement for the proposed brewpub site, which is currently a vacant auto service shop that’s been inactive for years.

Swann said the business would have a capacity of 45 people and outside seating on the west side of the building. It would be open Wednesday through Sunday and close at 10 p.m. at the latest. Like other taprooms and brewpubs in the metro, Swann said, it would also invite food trucks.

Referencing that walkability is a point in the city’s comprehensive plan, Swann said the brewpub would be a walking and biking destination. Parking could be a problem at the business, as it has the potential for up to 10 spaces, though Swann said he planned to talk with a neighbor about use of their parking lot in overflow situations.

A handful of neighborhood residents came to voice their support for the business, and to voice at least one concern.

Carl Brookins said he likes brewpubs and could easily walk to the proposed Kulturwerks, however, the area lacks pedestrian facilities and is getting busier and busier with traffic.

“The fact is there are no sidewalks,” Brookins said, adding that people walking or biking “for a few beers might become a problem.”

Still, he said, the proposed brewpub would be an interesting addition to the neighborhood if it stayed as small as Swann described.

Marnie Andrews said she lives a few houses down from the site, and noted that because the area isn’t that walkable she’s not very connected to her neighbors.

“Because there are no sidewalks, it is really hard to get to know people,” she said, pointing out a brewpub as a gathering place “could be a really awesome opportunity.”

 

Other operations

Parking, patio regulations and the amount of beer allowed to be produced at breweries in Roseville were all points of concern for council members, not just for the Kulturwerks proposal, but for possible future proposals as well.

“I am supportive of small businesses like this coming to our city but I think we need to deal with the text amendments and the zoning in a way we would want it citywide, and then address this particular property,” said council member Lisa Laliberte.

Added Willmus, “There’s certain aspects of this that warrant having greater control and that’s what I’ll be looking for if this moves forward.”

A new slate of brewery and brewpub-focused zoning amendments would come back through the city’s Planning Commission before the council takes up the subject again.

Roseville is currently home to two brewing operations, Bent Brewstillery and Granite City Food & Brewery at Rosedale Center. 

The city has been supportive of Bent Brewstillery, which both brews beer and distills spirits. Per state law, Bent can only serve one or the other out of its Terrace Drive location — it serves beer — and the council has called on the Legislature to allow for a single manufacturer to have both a taproom and cocktail room at the same location.

 

– Mike Munzenrider can be reached at mmunzenrider@lillienews.com or 651-748-7813

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