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Carlsbad Community Community News

Carlsbad’s Planning Commission approves Palomar Brewing Co.

CARLSBAD — After much back and forth, the Planning Commission approved a Conditional Use Permit for the owners of Palomar Brewing Company to open a tasting room at the site of their brewery on Loker Avenue West Wednesday night.

The permit passed with four in favor and two against.

Next, Founder of Palomar Brewing Ben Fairweather will need his tasting room application to get approval from the City Council.

The major problem some commissioners saw was a lack of parking spaces.

Project Planner for the city Chris Garcia said that according to city code, the site only requires six parking spaces, which it has.

The brewery and tasting room is in an industrial zone.

It’s also next door to Gunther Guns, which is why Chairperson Victoria Scully voted against the tasting room.

“Even though there are only going to be a couple of hours of cross over when (Palomar Brewing Company) is open and when (Gunther Guns) is open, I think it is a dangerous mix,” said Scully.

The Police Department didn’t voice any concerns with the proximity to a gun store, according to Garcia.

The brewery did not need approval because the use is already permitted but the accessory tasting room is not.

Fairweather has not yet determined the maximum occupancy of the 650 square foot tasting room.

Another issue that came up was food service.

Some of the commissioners worried that if Fairweather planned to eventually include food service, the parking would be even more of a problem.

Assistant City Attorney Jane Mobaldi guided the commission to just deal with the application on hand and not speculate about possible future uses.

Fairweather also told them he wasn’t planning to have food service.

Association Manager for the Poinsettia Business Park, Paul Danner, told the commission he was representing some other business owners in the park who were against the project because of parking constraints.

He said some businesses had purchased their building with designated parking spaces.

As a way to appease the parking situation, Fairweather said he is willing to purchase signs for the surrounding businesses to clearly designate their spaces, so his tasting room patrons won’t take up their parking.

The commission decided to designate certain hours for the tasting room to try and appease the parking situation.

The hours of operation that are allowed are:

Wednesday 4 to 8 p.m.

Thursday  4 to 9 p.m.

Friday 4 to 10 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday 11a.m. to 10 p.m.

Garcia said it’s likely that the parking lot will thin out later in the evening.

Fairweather still needs to enter into a mutual parking share agreement, according to Danner.

City Planner Don Neu said according to the city codes, the tasting room was in compliance with parking requirements.

Commissioner Kerry Siekmann and Marty Montgomery approved the plan without stipulation because Fairweather followed the city codes.

The tasting room still needs approval from the council and Fairweather hopes to have the tasting room operating by September.

The permit will also be revisited in a year, so if there are problems, the Planning Commission will be able to take action.

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Linda May 22, 2015 at 11:27 am

How you could pass this is beyond my realm of reality…seriously, you would allow a tasting room in an industrial park, a few doors down from Gunther Guns ?

We already have the Pizza Port brewing, and many other restaurants serving alcohol.

Perhaps most appalling to me is that you would allow this tasting room, yet not allow Gunther Guns to have a range…. I guess you consider drinking to have more of an entertainment value than the ability for people to learn gun safety.

For the most part, I agree with what the City has done in planning, and believe you truly have the best interests of residents and prospective residents in mind. However, that Roberts Homes area off El Camino started some doubts, then add in the Shea plan for Palomar and El Fuerte area (adding traffic congestion), the refusal to allow safe gun practices in our area, a questionable plan for the strawberry fields/lagoon area off Cannon and I-5, and now yet another drinking establishment.

Are you still keeping 40% open space? Doesn’t appear to be so.

Perhaps you need to re-think your plan for our beautiful city.

Joe May 23, 2015 at 5:20 pm

I think that this brewery will be the next big thing in our city, along with the locals the tourism will appreciate a taste of the famous craft beer scene.

Linda May 24, 2015 at 11:08 am

Maybe, but I can’t really see tourists wondering off the beaten path to an industrial park to taste beer (no matter how finely crafted) when they have the same in several locations in the Village, along with other things to see and do there. But then I’m not a beer drinker, so perhaps it’s just me. But I doubt a wine tasting place would fare any better in an industrial park.

Joe May 25, 2015 at 10:26 pm

Everyone’s intitled to their own opinions, however you should do some research before you say palomar airport is off the beaten path because so many tourists do beer tours that go to pizza port breasi ranch and all the other local spots about five minutes away. More people go to drinking establishments than
Shooting ranges and gun shops. I wish both business success, however think the gunther owners need to stop putting down local small business just because they are bitter.

Linda May 26, 2015 at 8:36 am

Joe, just to be clear, I have nothing to do with Gunther Guns – so your comment about them is not justified from my comments above. What they may, or may not, be doing on their own is their business.

And I’m not an idiot – I am quite familiar with Palomar Airport Drive; having lived in Carlsbad for over 10 years, it’d be hard to miss! But this place is not on Palomar, but rather on Loker – have you done the research on that? (Sorry, couldn’t resist being sarcastic to your comment.) Yes, Pizza Port is in an ‘industrial’ park, but that same ‘park’ also has the Aquatic Center and several retail type establishments, and Bressi Village is less than a half mile away. I don’t see them doing a whole lot of business but then I rarely go that way in the evenings.

And Rob, I’m was not referring to the gun laws but rather to some common sense. While perhaps more people drink than own/use guns, the law’s really not the point. My point was more along the lines of ‘entertainment’ has value for everyone’s taste, and I saw nothing wrong with a gun range in that area. The gun shop would be closed for the most part when this brewery is open. And if you think beer drinkers bring in business, go check out the gun ran in O’Side with it’s 30+ minute wait at almost all times of the day!

I wish any business owner the best of success. Having had our own business for 27+ years, I know how difficult it can be.

Linda May 24, 2015 at 11:09 am

Maybe, but I can’t really see tourists wondering off the beaten path to an industrial park to taste beer (no matter how finely crafted) when they have the same in several locations in the Village, along with other things to see and do there.

Rob May 25, 2015 at 5:51 pm

Those who think a gun store next to a brewi is not a good idea obviously do not know California gun laws. I look forward to Ben Fairweather’s venture and can not wait until they are open. It will be great for the city it will help with tax revenues and being in tourists and others who enjoy craft beer. Good luck Ben!

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