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Waitsfield, VT 05673
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Waitsfield DRB considers brew pub and Chinese restaurant

The Waitsfield Development Review Board heard two change of use applications this week, one for a brew pub at the former Jay's Restaurant and the other to convert the former Troll Shop into a sit-down and take-out restaurant for China Fun.

At its November 19 meeting the board heard both applications. The board discussed the application from Mad River Green Shopping Center LLC, asking that the conditional use permit for what was formerly Jay's Restaurant be changed to mixed use. The zoning permit application asks that the permitting be changed from "restaurant" to "restaurant and light industrial" to allow for installation of an onsite brewery.

The owners of Canteen Brewery, Charlie Menard and Andrew Davis, plan to open a sit-down, self-service restaurant with an onsite brewery in the vacant space in Mad River Green Shopping Center. Menard, currently the executive chef at the Inn at Round Barn Farm, would run the food operation and Davis, currently working as a brewer in Montreal, would run the beer operation.

Board members discussed the applicants' plan to re-create an outside seating space at the new business including issues related to lighting, landscaping, live music, drainage and fencing. DRB members also heard from members of the public about the project including supportive statements from the director of the Mad River Valley Chamber of Commerce, Susan Klein, and others. The board heard concerns from an abutter, Steve Alpert, who asked about hours of operation, noise and smoke from an outdoor BBQ.

Menard told him the business would close at 10 p.m., that the smoke would be no more than that of a neighbor barbequing and that music would likely be no louder than an acoustic guitar.

The proposed business will also include a retail component for the beer.

Prior to hearing the Canteen Brewery application, the board heard a proposal from the owner of China Fun (currently located in Village Square) to change the use of the former Troll Shop. The property is located at the corner of Bragg Hill and Route 100 and includes a 900-square-foot barn and a 3,375-square-foot building that has been a residence, a retail shop and a doctor's office in years past.

China Fun owner Xin Jun Lin is asking that the conditional use permit for the building be changed to mixed use. Lin's zoning permit application asks that the zoning be changed from office to office/restaurant. Lin wants to develop a 30-seat restaurant in the main building with offices upstairs. He wants to convert the barn to a single-family dwelling or possibly employee housing or housing for up to five unrelated people.

The board discussed the need for 22 parking spaces for the combined use as well as a desire to see traffic continue to flow around the building with the preferred egress onto Bragg Hill. Board members asked for information about water and septic and were told that there was adequate septic capacity and that Lin was awaiting a state wastewater permit. The property's estimated water usage from the town's municipal water system will be based on the wastewater permit and will be determined when that has been issued.

Pending receipt of final plans and permits, the DRB will deliberate on both applications and issue a decision within 45 days of closing the hearings.

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