Bad Martha Farmer’s Brewery is relinquishing its plans to add a raw bar shack at its East Falmouth Highway location following the planning board meeting on Tuesday, February 11. Board members and abutters had raised concerns over excessive noise.
Furthermore, the brewery is offering to remove the bocce court located in the front entertainment area and to build a six-foot tall stockade fence around the patio to help curb noise from music and patrons.
At the January 28 meeting, some board members not only opposed the shed, but also considered requiring removal of some of the outside amenities to curtail crowds and noise, specifically calling out the stone fire pit. Bad Martha attorney Kevin P. Klauer this week asked the board to keep the pit.
“The owners considered comments made by both abutters and the planning board when they decided to amend their application,” Mr. Klauer said.
Board member Paul Dreyer said, “I’m really pleased with efforts of owners.”
The proposal was for a 15 feet by 10 feet raw bar shed in the outside entertainment area located on the front of the property. It was to be in the outdoor space already used for live music and lawn games.
Since it opened in September, abutters and neighbors have raised concerns about the noise and traffic associated with the brewery. Some residents aired complaint against the addition of a raw bar they say would only bring more patrons and more noise to the front of the brewery.
While board members appeared to be satisfied with the latest application, whether or not a row of evergreens should be planted for additional sound mitigation proved to be a sticking point.
“When we first looked at this, I don’t think anyone here anticipated the amount of outside activity that would occur at the brewery,” said town planner Thomas Bott. “This is the board’s second chance to look at what that mitigation is.”
Mr. Bott read aloud performance standards for residential buffers and noted that one option is for a fence and a row of six-foot high evergreens.
“Are we to meet that standard or hope for the best without the trees?” he asked
Vice-chairwoman Charlotte Harris agreed that evergreens would augment the noise mitigation.
“I know those trees are expensive, but I think it would go a long way in shielding the neighbors.”
Member James E. Fox suggested the board allow time for greenery that has already been planted to grow.
“If this doesn’t solve it, they have another venue to to for noise. The selectmen take up noise complaints.”
The brewery owners have put into place procedures they say will help. Based on the complaints, the brewery owners hired a front-of-the-house manager to control the noise; turned the outside speakers inward, and changed the live music hours to end at 6 PM. In the future, the outside speakers would be turned down by 6 PM and turned off at 9 PM.
The owners are also asking to build a storage area in the rear of the brewery, which is expected to be approved.
A vote is expected at the board’s meeting on Tuesday, February 25.