North Huntingdon nixes brewery

| Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2009

North Huntingdon's zoning board unanimously denied a group's application to operate a brewery and tasting room at a building off Route 30 near the Allegheny County line.

The lead applicant, Mark Kegg, a partner in the Full Pint Brewing Co., said he'll appeal the board's decision Tuesday night denying a special exception to operate in a commercial district.

In a written decision outlining the vote, board members identified the location of the proposed brewery along a partially paved, narrow private road as a concern because access from Route 30 "is poor and has limited visibility" and no township roads would lead delivery trucks or customers to the site.

Floral Drive, close to the North Versailles border, is blocked by cars at the neighboring Leader Auto Sales dealership property on Route 30, the decision states.

Board members also noted that residents who use Floral Drive are concerned about being blocked from their property by delivery vehicles and are uneasy about potentially intoxicated motorists using their driveway.

"If the (Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board) grants the applicant a license for retail sales out of this brewery, the board is unable to place any conditions or safeguards on the applicant which would limit the number of patrons at the facility," the decision states. "The board is unable to place any conditions on the applicant that would improve access to the facility or increase visibility at the road entrance. The board cannot compel the widening of the entrance to the private road."

Kegg and his partners agreed to a lease with the property owner, William Leader, to use 5,000 square feet at the building for their business. The special exception is required because the township permits breweries in industrial districts.

Full Pint is a collaboration among brewmasters from the Rivertowne restaurant group in Western Pennsylvania and the North Country Brewing Co. in Slippery Rock. The group plans to produce, bottle and distribute eight beers, including four under the Full Pint label and two each from Rivertowne and North Country.

"We're just trying to bring a business into the township," Kegg said.

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