March 8, 2016

MEMO TO:           Mayor Barber and Board of Commissioners

FROM:                  Frank A. Rush, Jr., Town Manager

SUBJECT:           Special Use Permit Request – Goose Creek Growlers (Mallard Drive)

The Board is scheduled to consider a special use permit (SUP) request that would allow a new Emerald Isle business, Goose Creek Growlers, to also offer its patrons the opportunity to consume alcohol outdoors on a newly constructed deck feature.  Goose Creek Growlers is located on Mallard Drive in the same building currently occupied by Hot Wax Surf Shop, and is in the north unit nearest the bike path and NC 58. 

The attached memo from Josh Edmondson, Town Planner, includes a detailed explanation of the special use permit request.  The SUP application from Goose Creek Growlers is also attached, and includes sketches of the proposed new outdoor area, which is located primarily at the rear of the building.  As noted, the applicant produces and sells “growlers”, which is a pottery-based beer container that can be sealed and used to transport specialty beers off-premises for consumption at other locations.  Goose Creek Growlers intends to operate a small scale production operation at the Mallard Drive location, offer retail products and indoor beer consumption, and, if approved by the Board, offer outdoor beer consumption on a newly constructed deck feature.  Excerpts from the Goose Creek Growlers website are attached, and provide more background information on growlers and the company.

Special use permits must be considered using a quasi-judicial process, and the Board must determine that the applicant meets certain criteria aimed at protecting the public’s health, safety, and welfare, not harm property values, and not harm the general character of the neighborhood.  A summary of the SUP process is attached for the Board’s review.  The Board should note that all surrounding properties are either business establishments or vacant land, and the nearest residential units are more than 400 feet away on Janell Lane and Dorothy Court.  The building and proposed new deck feature are located approximately 20 – 25 feet from the nearby bike path, and the Board should note that this distance is comparable to the distance between the bike path and an outdoor seating area at the existing El Zarape restaurant.      

Goose Creek Growlers’ SUP application characterizes itself as a “destination-retail” business, and notes that much of the interest is associated with viewing the production process.  Regardless of the Board’s decision on the SUP request, Goose Creek Growlers appears to be a beneficial addition to the Emerald Isle business community and will offer another interesting and unique option for visitors to Emerald Isle.

Josh Edmondson will be available to answer any questions at the March 8 meeting.  Brandon Rigsbee, owner of Goose Creek Growlers, will also attend.