City Winery is seeking an amendment to their site plan from the Montgomery Village Board in order to increase the number of services currently offered.
The winery has a certain number of parking spaces that have already been approved to build on their site. One phase has been completed and architect Todd Zwigert noted that they plan to complete the second one. The winery plans to have three different types of venues on the property which cannot operate at the same time because they do not have enough parking.
City Winery hopes to come to an agreement with the village board regarding the use restrictions that they are proposing in order to meet the parking requirements. The winery hired a civil engineer who created a report, which outlined recommendations on what would be the restrictions of use and how they would control parking in order for the business to have certain events with limited capacity in order to meet the code.
“If you can come to an agreement with City Winery about limitations of use then I would feel that the planning board would feel confident to handle all the technicalities of the site plan that honored the spirit of that agreement,” Zwigert said.
Village Attorney Kevin Dowd noted that City Winery is building a tent area for outdoor weddings. They also hold indoor events, musical performances in addition to their normal operating hours. There is also a bridal suite and a hotel is forthcoming.
“If they put all of these uses on at the same time, will they have enough parking spaces for the site?,” Dowd asked. “The answer to that from the engineer is no they don’t have enough. They’ve had some really large music events and they’re talking about weddings that could have 250-300 people.”
Before the village board addresses City Winery’s parking issues, Mayor Steve Brescia wants the business to address their outstanding problems.
“What I’m concerned about is addressing the issues that are outstanding that hadn’t been addressed,” he said to Zwigert at the village board meeting on Sept. 7. “The stage for one thing, you never got a proper building permit for the stage. I’m not gonna be amenable to change on this board anything that’s gonna allow the planning board to proceed until those issues are addressed.”
Village Trustee Walt Lindner also noted that the winery’s bridal suite has been operating without a certificate of occupancy and has not been hooked up to the village sewer system.
“I don’t want to proceed with allowing additional uses on a property that’s not in compliance at this time,” Brescia told Zwigert at the village board meeting on Sept. 7.
The village board told Zwigert that City Winery needs to be in compliance before they allow additional uses on the site.
“We’ve never jumped through hoops for a project like we did for this one,” Brescia said. “And we’re insulted that he’s not complying with what he needs to comply with.”
In addition to parking, the winery hopes to build a viewing platform at the back of their lawn and legalize the platform that they built on the sides of the performance stage. When Zwigert appeared before the Village of Montgomery Planning Board on Sept. 22, they expressed many of the same concerns that the village board had. Planning Board Chairman Kevin Conero told Zwigert to address those issues the next time he appears before them.