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Empire brewery submits five new project studies, changes building plans

Noise, odor, visual, archeology and traffic impacts all determined minimal

Empire Brewing Company owner David Katleski, right, used a site plan map to show May 6 public hearing attendees a to-scale size comparison of his brewery's 18,000 square feet to the sizes of Cazenovia High School and a typical Wal-Mart. Project opponents said all three were roughly of equal footprint. Katleski used a bright yellow piece of paper, cut to the shape and map-scale size of the 120,000 square-foot high school and overlaid it on the brewery site. He then did the same with a bright pink piece of paper, cut to the shape and map-scale size of a typical 185,000 square-foot Wal-Mart. Finally, he held all three map-scale building pieces together on the site. The grey brewery building was dwarfed by the other two. Audience members were audibly impressed and amused by the comparisons.

Empire Brewing Company owner David Katleski, right, used a site plan map to show May 6 public hearing attendees a to-scale size comparison of his brewery's 18,000 square feet to the sizes of Cazenovia High School and a typical Wal-Mart. Project opponents said all three were roughly of equal footprint. Katleski used a bright yellow piece of paper, cut to the shape and map-scale size of the 120,000 square-foot high school and overlaid it on the brewery site. He then did the same with a bright pink piece of paper, cut to the shape and map-scale size of a typical 185,000 square-foot Wal-Mart. Finally, he held all three map-scale building pieces together on the site. The grey brewery building was dwarfed by the other two. Audience members were audibly impressed and amused by the comparisons. Photo by Jason Emerson.

— Village Attorney Jim Stokes said the studies were done as part of the village’s State Environmental Quality Review Act responsibilities regarding the project, which the board takes “very seriously.” He characterized the studies as being “extensive,” “in-depth” and done by licensed professionals. “So they carry a lot of weight,” he said.

Katleski summarized the results of each of the five reports individually, often quoting from the actual documents. The Cazenovia Republican also has reviewed the reports in the village planning board files. The results in brief were:

Noise study:

The sound of the brewery that reaches the Empire property line is 49 and 50 decibels, according to the Sack and Associates report. The noise levels “adhere to the law,” Katleski said. “In other words, it’s not that noisy.”

Odor study: The Syracuse firm of Barton & Loguidice conducted an odor screening evaluation at Ithaca Beer Company, turning on their brewing facility to the same specifications as Empire will be in Cazenovia. They monitored the brewery for one hour during peak odor time (lunch rush hour and during wort boiling), then measured the odors up to 250 feet from the steam discharge stack, where the odors are released from the building. The “Nasal Ranger Scentometer” determined “no nuisance odors will be experienced beyond the property of Empire Farmstead Brewery.”

Visual study: An edr engineering firm balloon test — flying a bright red 15-foot-by-6-foot blimp-shaped helium balloon to the highest point of the proposed building (47 feet) — which was observed from 50 viewpoints throughout the village and from historically significant areas, determined no significant visual impact. This minimum impact, which was determined last week with no leaves on the trees, will be even less when leaves are actually on the trees around the property, Katleski said.

“Field review on April 23, 2013, revealed that actual project visibility will be significantly more limited than suggested by the viewshed analysis, due primarily to the screening effects of forest vegetation,” the edr report stated.

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