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Homewood business plays Santa in a big way

Craft breweries now have a place in Homewood’s zoning code after village trustees approved an amendment to the code Tuesday. 

Prior to the vote, there wasn’t a definition of craft breweries in the code, but the industry is growing, and officials say the interest from brewers in setting up shop in Homewood made an amendment necessary.

“We’re getting more and more inquiries on this type of use,” said Village President Richard Hofeld. “It’s something we have to address.”

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In addition to inquiries, two companies are in the process of developing breweries in Homewood. Tobias Cichon of Homewood announced in November that he and his partners are planning to open Rabid Brewing at 17759 Bretz Drive. In December, Vice District Brewing Company announced it would be opening a shop in Homewood. The company currently operates a brewery and taproom at 1454 S. Michigan Ave.

Village Economic Development Director Tom Vander Woude said the craft brewery industry’s growth and popularity could mean more beer makers seeking a place in Homewood.

The zoning amendment makes craft breweries a special use in all four types of business zones and in manufacturing zones. Vander Woude said breweries typically have aspects that fit in both categories because they create and sell their products on the premises.

With approval of a special use permit, breweries could be located in any of Homewood’s business areas, including downtown, the Halsted Street corridor, Southgate and Cherry Creek. 

By making breweries a special use, village zoning officials can assess each business on its own merits, deciding whether the operation is a good fit for the proposed location, Vander Woude said. 

The board approved the measure unanimously without discussion.

In other business, the board approved awarding $5,350 to two businesses that are collaborating on improvements to a shared parking lot. William A. Lau & Company will receive $2,750.50, and Tre Chic Salon and Spa will receive $2,600. 

The money will come from the Southgate TIF District fund. William A. Lau & Company has previously received $17,052 and Tres Chic Salon and Spa has received $14,469. The limit is $25,000.

The additional funding will cover unforeseen expenses incurred during the parking lot paving part of the project, according to village officials.

The board also voted to extend until Dec. 31 an intergovernmental agreement with East Hazel Crest that would govern a partnership between the two villages in developing a casino on land just south of Interstate 80 and west of Halsted Street. The original agreement was approved in 2012 when it appeared the state legislature might authorize a new casino for the South Suburbs. No action has been taken by the state.


Related story:
Homewood will soon have its own craft brewery (HF Chronicle, Nov. 7, 2015)

More information:
https://www.facebook.com/RabidBrewing/
https://www.facebook.com/ViceDistrictBrewingCo

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