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Town Planning Board Approves Brewpub, Yurts

By Colleen Mahoney

The Town of Ellicottville Planning Board approved a special use permit for Stillhouse Brewpub and Distillery at its meeting on Monday, Aug. 22. Approval came after the Cattaraugus County Planning Board approved the plans, allowing the town board to move forward with its approval.

Town Planner Gary Palumbo explained that there were no changes made to the site plan since the board last reviewed it in July. Town Engineer Mark Alianello said the plans looked good to him, and alleviated any concerns he had.

Before closing the public hearing, which had been left open since the July meeting, the board heard concerns from Kelly Frederickson, a resident of Route 240.

Frederickson said the Brewpub was a great thing and would be something new for the community, but was concerned with disposal of spent grain. He noted that if it is left out for more than a few days, grain can produce an unpleasant odor and asked for “timely disposal” of the waste.

The board agreed to add that as a condition of the special use permit. Other conditions of the special use permit include not obstructing the view of motorists with the establishment’s fence, not creating unnecessary noise and maintaining the drainage system. Any modifications to the site plan, Palumbo said, need to be approved by the planning board.

After declaring a negative State Environmental Quality Review, the board approved the special use permit.

A conditional special use permit was also approved for Ellicottville Yurts and Recreation owner Justin Dineen. The site plan for the campground on Rt. 219 near the old Riley’s Restaurant, however, is “conditional upon the County planning board coming back with no adverse comments,” Palumbo explained.

During the public hearing on the matter, Dineen’s neighbors stated for the record that there was a working family farm across from the campground location. The 75-year-old farm has chickens, cows, horses and other animals. The board made note of the statement, adding that it doesn’t seem that the campground would cause any issues with the farm.

The first phase of the campground will include up to four yurts, portable bathrooms and a trailer, which will serve as an office. There will be no sewer or electric to the yurts and generators will not be permitted.

A negative declaration for the SEQR was approved, and the special use permit was approved with several conditions. Dineen is required to move the driveway so it is 10 feet from his property line or get signed approval from his neighbor to allow the driveway to encroach the neighboring property. Other conditions include getting approval for a sign, creating parking spaces that are 9 ½ feet by 18 feet and providing animal-proof receptacles for trash.

In new business, the board discussed a possible proposal for a dog day care, after a letter was sent to Palumbo proposing the idea. The operation would care for no more than one family’s pets at a time, including overnight. There would be a separate entrance in the applicant’s home with a designated room.

According to town code, a kennel cannot be a home-based business, though Palumbo said he wasn’t sure if this would qualify as a kennel or a home-based business. Concerns were raised about a possible increase in noise affecting any neighbors, and it was determined there would have to be a special use permit issued.

A discussion was also held on the town’s comprehensive plan, after Palumbo asked the board to review the current plan and note any sections that need to be updated or reviewed.

“We’re not rewriting anything at this point,” Palumbo said. “I’m looking for a scope of what you want to look at over the next year.”

The next town planning board will meet on Monday, Sept. 26 at 6 p.m. in the town/village hall.

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