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May 23, 2013

Trustees approve special use permit for distillery

The Cooperstown Board of Trustees unanimously approved the special use permit for Cooperstown Distillery on Monday.

The planned brewery and possible restaurant and retail store has passed two of the four needed municipal reviews. On May 16, the village planning board deemed the project qualified for special use permits for four uses: light manufacturing, restaurant, retail sales and accessory onsite parking for 14 spaces.

“We believe the project will meet all the objectives when we get through with the site development plan,” planning board chairman Charles Hill told the trustees on Monday.

The distillery, which would be built at 11 Railroad Ave. by Florida businessman Gene Marra, in the old Agway storage building owned by Mike Manno, still needs two more rounds of approval. On June 18, the planning board will hold a public hearing on the project after sending out required neighbor notifications. The project will also need approval from the village’s Historical Preservation & Architectural Review Board for a new door planned for the front of the building.

Marra could not be at the meeting on Monday because of a family emergency in Florida, according to his engineer, Jon McManus. McManus said that Marra is not currently planning to run a restaurant as part of the business, but wanted to apply for the special use permit in case of expansion by him or a future owner.

“If he can get by with the distillery, he will not go forward with the restaurant,” McManus said.

The project was also up for a public hearing before the trustees on Monday, but no members of the public had any comment on it.

In other news, the board set four public hearings for its June 24 meeting:

• A hearing was set for Tom Selover of 64 Pioneer St. who has applied to convert a garage on his property into a single family two-bedroom apartment.

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