(NASHVILLE) - The owners of Big Woods Brewing Co. are seeking a zoning change for land they hope to turn into a beer bottling and distribution center.
Sara Clifford of the Brown County Democrat reports that their hearing before the Brown County Area Plan Commission will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday, in the County Office Building.
Edward T. Ryan, Jeff McCabe and Tim O'Bryan, all of Brown County, plan to acquire 1.75 acres on Old State Road 46 East from current owner John Query of Greenwood.
The property is directly across State Road 46 East from the Brown County State Park north gate, just outside town limits.
The site once housed the residence and art studio of Charles E. Barnes, who died in 2005. That building still stands, along with two historic but deteriorating cabins.
Big Woods' owners intend to turn the Barnes building into a brewery production facility, making kegs and bottles for statewide distribution.
One of the cabins would be demolished to help restore the other one, and that cabin would become a tasting room.
The footprint of the demolished cabin would be the base for a bike/kayak rental facility, according to documents on file with the planning and zoning office.
The company aims to employ 15 to 20 people at this site, but McCabe estimates that about five might be working there at one time.
At its two-building complex in downtown Nashville - which includes a brew pub and a family-friendly pizza restaurant - Big Woods employs 48.
"We just think it's a great way to restore a property and meet our business needs at the same time," McCabe said about the plans for Big Woods Landing.
The land borders residential areas on three sides; the other neighbors are state-owned land and Parkview Church of the Nazarene.
Four residents of Wychwood Drive, a private, steep, gravel road that runs through the proposed development, have written two open letters against rezoning of the property. Among their concerns are the traffic the attraction will bring to the private drive and the already-busy intersection near the park; the fact that the property is in a floodplain; and the appropriateness of locating a brewery in that area.
"It being in a floodplain, close to the highway, the traffic are all reasons why it's probably not good as residential property, and in fact, in our research, for 40 years it was used as a commercial building," McCabe answered.
He said he thinks that locating a business there might help to get a stoplight installed at the busy intersection of Old State Road 46, State Road 46 East and the park entrance.
"It's a beautiful piece of property," McCabe said. "We'd build a bridge over that creek. It would just be a park-like setting across from the park. And maybe, just maybe, we could get people who were just going to turn east (from the state park) and leave, to stop and maybe even go into town."
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