Council denies appeal, brewery coming to Del Mar

Council denies appeal, brewery coming to Del Mar
This aerial photo shows the location of a proposed brewery and restaurant in Del Mar along the San Dieguito Lagoon. Photo courtesy of the city of Del Mar

DEL MAR — Al Corti recently discovered sometimes you can’t fight City Hall even if you’re a sitting member of the City Council and just finished serving one year as mayor.

At the Jan. 19 council meeting Corti needed two of his colleagues to agree to hold a future hearing to reconsider a Design Review Board approval of a new business on San Dieguito Drive, not far from a home he is building across the street and up the hill on Heather Lane that overlooks the project.

After listening to Corti’s justification for an appeal and 10 speakers — most of them family members, friends and neighbors of applicant Charles Koll who support the project — only Terry Sinnott was willing to set a future hearing.

With that denial Del Mar will soon have its first brewery/tasting room/restaurant.

Koll, who grew up in Del Mar, plans to open Vigilante Brewing Company before the end of the year in the space previously occupied by Eucalyptus Stoneware on the northeast corner of Jimmy Durante Boulevard and San Dieguito Drive.

Plans include a 1,437-square-foot beer manufacturing facility, 900-square-foot tasting room, 2,471-square-foot restaurant and 589-square-foot kitchen.

There is also a 1,041-square-foot covered outdoor patio that Eucalyptus Stoneware used for manufacturing and kiln operations.

Part of the outdoor patio will be used as a tasting room on weekdays before 6 p.m.

After that and all day on weekends the entire patio will be used for restaurant seating.

The facility will also include an indoor stage for acoustic, non-amplified music.

During the permitting process, Corti filed an objection to the project, stating among other things that the application had factual errors, noise and lighting impacts were not adequately considered and a Citizens Participation Program never took place.

According to the staff report, a CPP was not required because of the scope of the project and all other concerns were addressed.

Corti said he didn’t object to the business but there “should be restrictions in place to protect the community.”

“I just don’t think the community got a fair shot at this,” he said. “All I ask is that you hear it again.”

The city received three emails from residents requesting reconsideration and only one speaker asked council members to “take another look at it.”

But Wade Walker, who lives on nearby Oribia Road and is a neighbor of the Koll family, said he was excited about the project even though he is among those who would be impacted by the new business.

“It’s a place that I would want to go, personally,” he said.

Chelsea Sheppard, also a neighbor on Oribia, said Vigilante “would be such a great asset to this community,” with the potential to become another place to meet up with friends, like Starbucks and Jake’s.

“It’s important in small beach towns to have a culture like that,” she said.

Richard Koll said his brother is proposing a community space appropriate for families with children.

“This is not a rowdy place where people go to get drunk,” he said.

Kevin McHugh, who owns the building, said the restaurant will likely be quieter than some of the businesses that leased the property in the past.

“Of all the people that wanted to rent, they seemed best for the town,” he said.

Because Koll had to enter into a shared-use agreement with existing businesses to meet the parking requirement the restaurant will open at 6 p.m.

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