While Mammoth Brewing Company had no trouble getting approval to move its tasting room into the former Whiskey Creek property at Main and Minaret, Ian Algeroen, of Restaurant Skadi renown, may have to wait at least six months to move a restaurant into the Brewing Company’s former location on Berner Street.
In recent months, both the Brewing Company and Algeroen’s proposed restaurant came up against the North Village Specific Plan (NVSP) use regulations.
The NVSP does not allow for a tasting room use at the Whiskey Creek location, nor does it allow for a restaurant, outside of a restaurant located inside a hotel, at the Berner Street location.
In February of this year, Mammoth’s Planning and Economic Development Commission (PEDC) determined that the Mammoth Brewing Company tasting room at the Whiskey Creek property would be similar to and no more detrimental than a restaurant, which is permitted by the NVSP at that location.
But according to Town Senior Planner Sandra Moberly, determining that a restaurant is an acceptable use at Berner Street will not be so easy.
The NVSP prohibits a restaurant at Berner Street unless it resides within a hotel. Moberly explained that this is because the NVSP looks forward to a time when the current Berner Street properties will be demolished, and a “Vista Point” condominium project built in their place.
The Vista Point project was proposed in 2009 by Fm Mammoth LLC. The proposed project would include 28 units within a building footprint of about 34,500 square feet.
“We reviewed Ian’s request with the Town Attorney and determined that the impacts of these two uses are different and there is not sufficient rationale to make the required determination,” Moberly said.
When and even whether the Vista Point project will be built remains unclear; Moberly could not provide contact information for Fm Mammoth LLC, which has a registered address in Fountain Hills, Arizona.
On April 2, Town Council requested staff to pursue options to allow for Algaroen’s restaurant. “I’d ask if we could expedite that process,” said Council member Matthew Lehman.
Because it is unlikely that the PEDC could determine that a restaurant use is acceptable at Berner Street, Moberly said Town staff will instead look into an amendment to the NVSP.
That process includes CEQA, and could take up to six months.
“Unfortunately, it’s not a simple fix,” Moberly concluded.