By JULIA LEATHERWOOD/For the County Star
SAVOY — The village board later this month will again consider a special-use permit for a proposed "nanobrewery."
This week, the board tabled the issue until May 16 after a standing-room-only crowd attended a public hearing about the new business proposed by Triptych Brewing LLC.
The business has petitioned for a special-use permit with the hopes of opening a nanobrewery with a tasting room at 1703 Woodfield Drive. The area is zoned C-1 commercial, but a special-use permit is required because the business would be selling alcohol.
At a previous public hearing on April 23, some local business owners and nearby residents opposed the project because they felt the location was not appropriate. But the Savoy Planning Commission recommended the special-use permit to the village board, subject to certain conditions and requirements, such as limiting the hours of operation and restricting the amount of alcohol produced and sold.
On Wednesday, representatives from a neighboring subdivision spoke in opposition.
Heather Mangian and Melody Simeone, president and vice president of The Arbours Homeowners Association, presented a petition with over 50 signatures opposed to the permit. More signatures were collected during the hearing.
Mangian said homeowners who contacted her are afraid.
"The reality is people are going to drink beer there," Mangian commented.
A strong voice of opposition at the previous public hearing came from Namsoo Hyong, owner of HMD Academy, which is next to the proposed location. Hyong said Wednesday that he teaches his students to find "win-win" solutions and that is what he wanted to do with this issue. Hyong hired a lawyer to mediate an agreement between him and Triptych Brewing.
Hyong's lawyer, Phillip Van Ness, stated that Hyong would withdraw his opposition if the board approves the permit with certain conditions. The additional conditions include a 6-foot white vinyl fence be installed around three sides of Triptych, as well as further limitations on serving sizes allowed to be consumed in the tasting room.
For those who spoke against the business, they were concerned about noise, traffic, odor, property values, as well as the establishment manufacturing and selling alcohol. Those in favor pointed out that Triptych would be a novel attraction for Savoy that would bring in added revenue. Many also attested to the good character of the three partners of Triptych, Anthony Benjamin, Jason Bartell and Joshi Fullop. The Triptych Facebook page says it gathered petition signatures including 130 from residents of Savoy and 200 signatures of others in support of the permit.
After some discussion the board decided to table the issue until the next board meeting on May 16.