Planning Commission approves permit for brewery, food pod

By Sarah Brown
Lebanon Local
Lebanon Planning Commission members approved a conditional use permit during their May 19 meeting for applicant Pacific Sky Northwest to construct and operate a brewery and food pod.
The project site is approximately 1.52 acres, situated off E. Airport Road, south of Safeway and behind the Lebanon Retail Center. A portion of the extension of Primrose Street to east Airport Road is part of the project.
The applicant proposes to build a 4,000 square foot building to house a brewery and a customer area for consumption of alcohol. It will not include a commercial kitchen for food sales, but the proposal includes a site for eight to 10 food trucks.
There will be a 16-foot overhang outside to accommodate seating for food and beer customers.
Don Roberston, vice chair of the Planning Commission, asked about restroom access for food pod customers.

PLANS SHOW the planned location for a brewery and food pod off Airport Road.

“Since the food pod is operating within the brewery site, the food pod customers would share the restrooms with the brewery customers,” said Kelly Hart, community development director. “Those customers would largely be the same category of people.”
Based on regulations for a required number of parking spaces on the proposed development, the applicant had agreed to provide 62 vehicular and 24 covered bicycle parking spaces. However, commissioners agreed on a motion to modify the condition to provide only four bicycle spaces and require a minimum of 60 parking spaces.
Two letters were received from the public regarding the proposal. A summary of concerns from those letters include: odor, noise, lighting, proper water drainage, crime, reduction in property value, and deprivation of full use of home and property.
Hart addressed the odor, noise and drainage concerns, noting that brewery activities are to be enclosed only, and regulations require water drainage to be taken care of on the proposed site. As for noise, the conditional use permit instructs the applicant to adhere to the city’s noise ordinance.
“They do have residential right next door that they’re abutting to with the apartment complex and single-family homes, so it’s just being called out specifically that there’s a requirement that they’re compliant with the ordinances,” Hart said.
Regarding lighting, the conditional use permit includes a requirement that lighting be directed away from the adjacent properties.
“We also have a requirement that high screen landscaping is required to be installed along the eastern property line to create a buffer between the proposed use and residential uses to the east,” Hart said.
Also, a report ordered for a traffic impact analysis recommended that traffic forecasts meet the City of Lebanon and ODOT mobility standards.
Commissioner Jeremy Salvage noted the potential for traffic congestion at Primrose and Airport due to the entrance into the Safeway parking lot just adjacent.
“That was the main reason we had the TIA developed,” said Ron Whitlatch, Engineering Services director.
After having observed the location himself on different occasions, Whitlatch believes there is enough space on the 25 mph road to make a westbound turn from Primrose onto Airport.
“Don’t get me wrong,” he added. “It’s going to be congested. There’s certain times of day it’s really congested, but that’s the recommendation of the traffic engineer.”
And that’s a natural result of growth in the city, as well, Whitlatch noted.
Following public testimony from resident Misty McDowell, who lives on Mill Street, beside the proposed site, Robertson agreed with the sentiments of other commissioners that he appreciated her concerns regarding odor and the brewery’s effect of visual appeal and property valuation.
“As our community continues to grow, as some of these vacant lands are developed, we are going to run into conflicts, and I can empathize with the neighbors,” Robertson said. “You don’t want to see what appears to be an intrusion. However, I’m impressed with the developers in this case. It appears that they’ve gone above and beyond to try to mitigate those conflicts.”
Michael Kosmicki, of Pacific Sky Northwest, said they hope to break ground soon, and anticipate an opening date after this summer.

In other business, the Planning Commission:
♦ Discussed city ordinance restrictions on fueling station locations. Currently, fueling stations are only permitted in the highway commercial zone, and the question brought before the commission was whether to extend the permission for fueling stations in other zones of the city.
Commissioner Samuel Brackeen questioned whether now is the best time to modify the current rules: “I think the risks outweigh the benefits. I think we’re too early right now in what Lebanon’s doing to go forward with it.”
Brackeen later noted he liked the fact that the commission could impose certain limitations on how a fuel station can be designed, such as being located only on a corner lot.
Commissioner Todd Prenoveau also expressed concern about encroaching on residential areas.
Robertson noted other cities have commercial developments on a secondary access to town, unlike Lebanon. He said he’d like to identify some of the main access routes in the city and loosen the rules “a little bit” to allow for some commercial development along those routes.
“As we grow, I think we have to open up those opportunities a little bit,” he said.
After some discussion, Hart summarized that the commission agreed to allowing fueling stations in the mixed zone use along “major routes,” and specifying location on corner lots only.
She will draw up some concepts and return to the commission with proposals regarding city ordinances affected.