CLIFTON PARK, NY – Supporters for a private firm’s proposal to build a downtown brewery and restaurant have started to rally online.
Southern Saratoga County resident Marcel Wing created his petition in support of the Druthers Brewing Company’s proposal for a location in Clifton Park late last month on Change.org. As of Tuesday, the petition had 68 signatories.
The Druthers plan calls for the construction of a 10,000 square foot building on a vacant five acre lot at the corner of Maxwell Drive and Southside Drive. The land, owned by DCG Development, is at the west end of Village Square (Hannaford) across from Southside Drive from a Staples store.
The site also sits across from the planned 37-acre municipal park.
The building will have brewing facilities, dining rooms, kitchens and bathrooms. There will be an outdoor dining area which can also provide opportunities for recreation, musical performances and private events. Parking for 120 cars is provided with an overflow area reserved for 130 cars.
Opposition to the proposal arose almost immediately with a number of letters to the planning department from residents living in Bentley Condominiums, a four-story building focused on senior living. The building is within walking distance of the Druthers site.
Reading the seething opposition to the brewery’s plans in the media, Wing created a page on the popular website to show that there is support in town for the business as well.
The descriptive paragraph of the petition focused on a changing community, with luxury hotels and apartment complexes in a bustling city center. This downtown area, according to the petition, is a key part of the city itself.
âBringing a local business as esteemed as Druthers to the city center will not only spark new interest, but also create a greater sense of community,â Wing wrote in his petition.
In an email, Wing said he had never worked for Druthers and was nothing more than a grateful customer who appreciates a local alternative to the proliferation of sports bars and chains. establishments in town. These types of watering holes, he said, attract a specific crowd he is not drawn to.
“I know that the others are not [drawn] too, “he wrote.” Druthers are a different breed of bar. Not only are Druthers a local business, they support local talent with live music and create a more welcoming environment than people of all ages. appreciate.
He pointed to the positive effect the arrival of Uncommon Grounds coffee has had on the community and said Druthers could do much the same, if not more. With all the new luxury apartments in town, Wing said bringing in a Druthers is another step in giving those who live in the city an alternative to Saratoga Springs.
Referring to the opposition coming from the senior community in the Bentley and beyond, he wondered how many people are actually opposed to the plan.
âWhen I go to the other Druthers sites, I see people of all ages including the demographics of those at The Bentley and they love Druthers as much as I do, if not more,â Wing said.
With a shifting demographics, which Wing says tends towards a younger population, he asked older people opposed to the plan to see the city as it is, not as it was.
“There are a lot more young people in this town than before and I know for a fact from my petition that they would like something different from what Clifton Park has to offer,” he said. âDruthers is a stepping stone to making Clifton Park an even better place to live, work and play. We must live up to our motto.
In recent weeks, a letter has been delivered to the Bentley Community Association from Druthers President Christopher Martell clarifying the planned business transaction for Clifton Park.
The letter provided residents with a planning proposal story; a detailed description of what is requested from the town planning council.
In the story, Martell discussed what is planned for the site in addition to the building, the noise that can be generated by alfresco dining and musical performers and its reduction, planned emergency access, potential smells , drainage and landscaping.
“I present the above in the hope of better understanding our plans,” wrote Martell. “It would be a pleasure to meet with you to provide additional information and discussion, as well as any comments, questions and concerns that you or the residents of the Bentley may have.”
A copy of the letter was emailed to all residents of the Bentley and a copy was posted on the building’s bulletin board.
The project was to be presented to the Town Planning Council for a first review on Wednesday, September 9.