Sometimes it takes a while to brew up a solution.
That’s what the Fort Worth City Council did at its Tuesday May 7 meeting, approving a zoning change at 6479 Camp Bowie Blvd. The change allows Wild Acre Brewery to open a small restaurant with a brewery/tap room at the site of an old and empty building. The building, a former grocery story, last housed a Kroger, but has sat vacant for many years.
Wild Acre has a location at 1734 E El Paso St. near downtown Fort Worth, that has been open for about three years.
The controversy for the Camp Bowie site centered around it being within 1,000 feet of the Montessori School of Fort Worth. However, as District 3 Councilman Brian Byrd, in whose district the property sits, noted, the project had much support.
“There has been broad community support for this project which is transforming an ugly, empty building into something that is attractive and creative,” Byrd said. “They will sell alcohol only to restaurant customers who consume on the property, and is the kind of retail so many of us will enjoy.
“I support this entrepreneurship and wish the sponsors much success.”
Council approved the project with a 10-year renewal.
Breweries and tap rooms are not permitted within the Camp Bowie Form Based Code District. However, council approved a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) after the applicant said the brewery/tasting rooms is limited to 3,000 square feet with 774 square feet of outdoor seating area located in front of the building.
Conditional uses are those uses which are generally compatible with the permitted land uses in a given zoning district, but which require individual review of their proposed location, design and configuration, and the imposition of conditions in order to ensure the appropriateness of the use at a particular location.
City officials noted that while a brewery/tasting room is not permitted in the Berry/University District by right, allowing it by CUP with a site plan and a time limit may help mitigate any neighborhood concerns, as well as give options for the CUP to be revoked in the event of code violation convictions.
Although the site is adjacent to a residential district, the location of the proposed brewery/tasting room city officials say it will likely not have a negative impact to the neighborhood.
Support for the project came from the Montessori School itself, along with the Ridglea North Neighborhood Association, Ridglea Area Neighborhood Alliance, Ridglea Hills Neighborhood Association, and the Camp Bowie District.