Mill Valley Beerworks Survives Planning Commission Hearing

Last night the owners of Mill Valley Beerworks, Tyler and Justin Catalan, stood before the Mill Valley Planning Commission for a compliance review of their conditional use permit (CUP) due to a number of complaints by neighbors. At the same time, the owners wanted to amend their permit so they can expand into a neighboring storefront with an enlarged kitchen, address noise complaints, remodel the facade, have outside seating and overall, turn the business into more of a cafe.

The hearings outcome held serious ramifications. Restraints could be placed on the business making it difficult or costly to operate. As a result, a large crowd attended the proceeding in favor and against the popular business. The primary complaint was noise due to exiting late night customers.

The public comment period contained a lot of passion and rhetoric from both sides. The neighbors who received the most attention at the meeting and leading up to the event were Chris and Lara Deam, the latter being the founder of Dwell Magazine, who live nearby. They described sleepless nights, a muffler left in their driveway and accused Mill Valley Beerworks of taunting when their sidewalk chalkboard read “At Home in the Modern World,” the tag line of Dwell Magazine.

In the end, after nearly five hours of deliberation, the commission granted Mill Valley Beerwork’s request to have the CUP amended, but placed a number of conditions on the business:

  • A door man will have to be present every day from 8:00pm till a half hour after closing to manage patron behavior as they exit the business and call police when necessary.
  • Bottle dumping cannot occur after 10:00pm.
  • Mill Valley Beerworks is required to monitor the exterior decibel level with the aid of an outside firm appointed by the city after renovations are completed.

So for now the doors will remain open, expansion will move forward and hopefully the changes will appease neighbors and fans of this Mill Valley hotspot.

Here are some more highlights from hearing that appeared on BACB’s twitter feed: