Catasauqua Press

Friday, November 24, 2017

Tasting room gets a green light from Catty council

Wednesday, September 13, 2017 by PAUL CMIL Special to The Press in Local News

It looks like Catasauqua will be getting a craft brewery on Lehigh Street, across from the George Taylor House.

At the Sept. 5 Catasauqua Borough Council meeting, the council moved to streamline an application for a craft brewery and tasting room.

The owners, Anette and Fred Pompa, proposed a small craft brewery at the location. They went before the Catasauqua Zoning Hearing Board recently, where their proposal was approved. Embodied in the Pompas’ request is an agreement that they would be able to sell craft beer brewed by others as long as the brewer is located in Pennsylvania. The state permits such an arrangement and the zoning board agreed to the request. The borough has not updated its craft brewery conditions to align with the state; selling other craft brews is currently against local regulations.

The council backs the tasting room concept and is moving forward with changes to the local ordinance to permit sales of products made outside the local brewery.

Councilman Brian McKittrick indicated that the ordinance process may take longer than expected. The borough and the Pompas made an agreement to streamline the process and revisit the zoning board. The board is a legally binding process and can allow the tasting room to operate under the state law while the borough ordinance is developed.

Councilwoman Christine Weaver added a list of conditions that the Pompas must meet, including offering food, restricting the amount of outside brewed sales offered, reporting total sales by quarter and performing some sort of public service. The Pompas agreed to the conditions.

The zoning board hearing is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Sept. 19 at the municipal building.

Weaver announced that the Request For Proposal for the remaining acreage on the Iron Works site is out for bids. “It is listed in the Lehigh Valley Business Journal, and it was the fifth most visited site,” she said.

The latest attempt to sell the excess land allows the borough to negotiate individually with a developer and set up terms and conditions based on the value of the project. Earlier attempts at acquiring bids had required a set sale price and limited restriction on the type of development.

In other business, Mayor Barbara Schlegel announced the Halloween parade is scheduled for 7 p.m. Oct. 18, with a rain date of Oct. 25. The parade is still in need of donations. Typical costs are $3,000, and collections to date are around $2,000.

“We still are looking for more donations to help us meet costs,” Councilman Eugene Schlegel said.

The borough does not contribute to the parade, as it has always relied on private donations.

Trick-or-treat night will be Oct. 27, a Friday, with a rain date of Oct. 28.

Catasauqua’s Fest-O’-Fall is scheduled for Oct. 7.

Also at the meeting, borough Police Chief Douglas Kish announced police will start enforcing the two-hour parking restriction in the business district. He also said now that construction of the municipal complex is complete, on-street parking on Front Street between Bridge and Pine streets is permitted.