WILMINGTON — A Deerfield Valley-based winery is looking to expand. But first, its owners need local approval.
Honora Winery and Vineyard submitted an application for a conditional use permit that would allow for a brew pub with restaurant and retail space to operate in an existing building at 211 Route 9 East in Wilmington.
"It's in a great location and it would be nice to have that building occupied for sure because it's a nice building," said Zoning Administrator Craig Ohlson. "Hopefully, something will happen this time."
A winery project was approved when the owners approached the Development Review Board back in 2005. There were no plans then to serve food.
But now that there's a brew pub involved, a restaurant is needed.
"That's by state law," said Ohlson.
The restaurant would be "very limited" with between 30 and 40 seats available, he told the Reformer. The board is looking mostly at changing the use of the property while owners will be rearranging the setup of the building for brewing purposes.
A septic system behind the building has a limited capacity, creating a challenge for the owners. That appears to be the primary construction piece of the project.
"Basically in order to do a restaurant, they'll ultimately need to run a sewer line," Ohlson said, noting it will be very expensive. "So there are some questions regarding that."
One wastewater option — approximately $15,000 — could see a line drilled beneath Route 9.
A site visit was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. The hearing will continue at the Town Offices on Jan. 4 at 6 p.m.