Microbrewery faces hurdles in Kent
David Birnbaum's plan to run a microbrewery on his Camps Road farm in Kent is more difficult to get through the land-use process than he likely had anticipated.
Kent's Planning and Zoning Commission has requested full engineering plans be submitted to the Kent town engineer for review.
Birnbaum presented a detailed study April 11 to the commission on potential water consumption and runoff, waste product disposal, odor emission and other details related to the operation of the proposed microbrewery.
However, commission members wanted more. They're requiring direct communication from the project's engineers, Land Tech Consultants.
Stating what Birnbaum has presented "are only assertions" and not actual evidence, commission member Dennis DePaul wants to see a documented plan that a registered engineer has created.
Birnbaum said this request puts him in a difficult position as it requires additional funds spent on his engineers and consultants.
He was hoping for special permit approval before spending more money on engineer plans necessary to meet state and federal requirements, he said.
Before the microbrewery could be constructed, state approvals for water consumption and mitigation must be received. Financial viability must also be demonstrated for the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
Birnbaum is representing his organization, The Food Cycle, in his application for the microbrewery special permit.
The Food Cycle plan is to be an "interlocking, virtual circle of food related businesses" located in Kent and Brooklyn, N.Y.
Anchored by the farm on Camps Road in Kent, it would ultimately be composed of a consumer supported agriculture farm, a small bed and breakfast, a farmhouse brewery, an apple brandy distillery and a restaurant.
The public hearing before the Planning & Zoning Commission was set for Thursday, May 9, at 7 p.m. in Kent Town Hall.