Members of the Cartersville Planning Commission voted 5-1 Tuesday evening to recommend a special use permit for an applicant looking to open a microbrewery at the old firehouse building on 19 North Erwin St.
Commissioner Jeffrey Ross was the lone dissenting vote against the request from Shelter Beer Co.
“Back in 2018, the planning commission did some text amendments to allow microbreweries in several of the zoning districts,” said City of Cartersville Planning and Development Director Randy Mannino. “The applicant does have a lease agreement executed between the Cartersville Building Authority (CBA) and Shelter Beer Co.”
Cartersville Assistant City Attorney Keith Lovell said the CBA is an entity that the City provides properties to, allowing for "development or redevelopment, or alternative financing that cities are not sometimes eligible to do.”
According to City documents, the applicant entered into the agreement with the CBA on Feb. 13. The intergovernmental component of the agreement between the CBA and the City of Cartersville is effective for 50 years “or until such time as the facility is no longer occupied by Shelter Beer Co., Inc., or its successors, whichever event first occurs.”
If either of those scenarios come to fruition, the building would be conveyed back to the City of Cartersville at no cost.
Under the agreement, the annual rent is tabbed at $94,950 for the first 10 years of the lease.
“In lieu of tenant improvement allowance, [the] landlord agrees to abate the rent during the primary term in the amount of $732,550 and for the the first three years the abatement shall be $284,850, the equivalent of three years’ rent,” the documents indicate. “Afterward, the abatement shall be a straight-line abatement over the remaining term in the amount of $5,329.76 per month.”
Documents indicate the applicant is also being offered an additional $97,750 abatement to install an elevator in the facility and conduct other improvements on the premises of the approximately 10,500-square-foot building.
According to the special use permit request, the applicant seeks to operate the microbrewery from 4-10 p.m. Wednesday through Thursday and from 1-11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Proposed Sunday hours are listed as 1-9 p.m.
Although the facility entrance is roughly 400 feet away from the front doors of Sam Jones United Methodist Church, Lovell said the local government doesn’t foresee any issues arising over parking.
“Most Sunday mornings, I doubt the brewery will be open, so that should not be a conflict with the church,” he said. “But there is plenty of parking downtown … and of course, the courthouse has plenty of parking behind the church, as well.”
Mannino said a survey line measurement will have to be performed when the applicant applies for a license from the local alcohol control board. Under State law, certain alcohol sales are prohibited from taking place within 300 feet of a church.
“Microbreweries themselves have a few different regulations, I don’t think there is a distance requirement,” he said. “But if they do events, they may have to meet that distance requirement.”
Lovell said the church was kept in the loop during the lease negotiations.
“I believe they met with the developers, they also met with City officials in respect to this,” he said. “So they’ve been informed all throughout the process and haven’t really come to any meetings to object or anything like that, to this point.”
A first reading of the special use permit application will go before the Cartersville City Council at a meeting scheduled for May 21, with a second reading — and potential council vote — slated for June 4.
Both meetings are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. and will be conducted via videoconference.
Commission members also voted unanimously at Tuesday’s meeting to approve an annual update to the City’s zoning map.
Among other changes, the amended zoning map reflects the de-annexation of almost 265 acres along Paga Mine Road and the rezoning of about 212.5 acres along the Carter Grove subdivision from R-20 residential to R-10.
“That update will incorporate rezonings of the past year as well as annexations,” said Cartersville City Planner David Hardegree. “On top of those zonings and annexations there were also administrative corrections to the district boundaries that we’ve proposed … basically, it’s just adjusting the lines where it cut across a property where we know it was residential and it may have been split between a residential and a commercial zoning, for example.”