At its last public meeting, TBL council adopted the first version of a special bylaw – SCAOIP, similar to the controversial one behind the Faubourg Lac-Brome in Foster, in order to allow a micro-brewery to set up shop at 576 Knowlton Road. By virtue of that special urban planning tool, council can bypass existing bylaws to allow the implementation of a specific project.

If accepted, Knowlton Brewery could manufacture beer as well as operate a bar and sell various beer-related products. The existing zoning bylaw allows activities of the brewery but not the actual manufacturing of the brew. The plan submitted by the owners, a local couple, has been reviewed and approved by the Consultative Committee on Urbanism (CCU).

According to the CCU, the brewery meets the criteria of a SCAOIP. What are the criteria for the application of this special measure that looks a lot like spot zoning? According to the Quebec department of Municipal Affairs (MAMOT) a project adopted by SCAOIP must fit into the neighbourhood (“l’intégration dans le milieu”) and must not adversely affect the area (“réduisent l’effet sur le voisinage’’). Effects on the environment, on traffic, on parking and on the general traffic safety are also mentioned as elements that such a special project must take into account. It must also abide by the urban plan.

The industrial production of beer in a small rural village raises many questions. The first being the use of water. Gilbert Arel, TBL’s DG, told Tempo that would not be an issue in this case as the availability of water has been examined prior to the adoption of the bylaw. Then there is the issue of smells, waste water and noise in a residential area.

As was the case with the Foster development project, a public consultation meeting is planned for April 23rd. More in the next issue of Tempo.