Mint Hill is allowing brewery tap rooms to locate downtown, but leaders may soon add limits to prevent oversaturation.
Steven Overcash, principal of ODA Architecture, has told leaders the plan is to locate a brewery tap room at 7251 Matthews-Mint Hill Road. His firm, on behalf of UTD Technology, initiated the change.
Overcash told the planning board Sept. 21 that a three-bedroom house at the front of the property will be converted into a restaurant that seats about 60 people. A brewery will go in a 1,000-square-foot structure behind the restaurant. The two buildings will have a connector that allows patrons to tour the brewery, Overcash said.
Brewery tap rooms have been able open by right in industrial areas since 2014. In 2015, commissioners allowed them, if approved by the town, in areas zoned for distributive business, which include warehouses, office, wholesaling and complementary uses.
Mint Hill regulates uses in downtown through two overlay districts. DO-A is more residential while DO-B, known as town center, is more commercial. Commissioners amended town ordinances Oct. 8 to let tap rooms open in the town center.
Commissioner Dale Dalton echoed some of the concerns brought up during the Sept. 21 planning board meeting. Dalton said he didn’t want the town to be known for having a lot of tap rooms or bars.
While the planning board gave a favorable recommendation to allow brewery tap rooms, member Roger Hendrix encouraged staff to create a future text amendment that would allow the town to control the size and number of them.
Hendrix would prefer brewery tap rooms as a conditional use requiring board approval as opposed to a by-right use.
“I like breweries but I don’t want one in every other house, every other building,” Hendrix said.
“I think they are neat business ventures,” he later added. “I think they bring a lot of local flair and flavor – no pun intended – to the local atmosphere and market.”