Hanover Town Council on Thursday took the first step toward changing its zoning ordinance to allow a production and retail farm winery, artisan distillery and microbrewery to locate and operate at a site on West Lagrange Road.
Tami Hagemier operates Lanthier Winery in downtown Madison with her husband, Chris Lanthier, and they seeking the zoning changes to develop a production and retail winery, distillery and microbrewery at property now owned by Warren Auxier and Auxier Investments at 431 West Lagrange Road, Hanover.
She said the business would have “retail and production that would develop a tourism trade you haven’t had before. We’re looking to do production as well as retail,” Hagemier said. “Thank you so much for your support. We truly appreciate it, and are excited about working with Auxier Investments and the town of Hanover.”
“We’re excited you’re coming,” said Town Board Member Treva Shelton.
“More business in this town is what we need,” added Board President Kenny Garrett.
Asked about the proposal after the meeting, Auxier said the project is still in the works, and the property has not yet been sold. He said the zoning needs to be in place before the project officially moves forward.
Hanover Town Board approved a resolution supporting the proposal as it goes before the Hanover Plan Commission next week seeking an amendment to zoning at the site. Hagemier was specific in what she hoped the resolution would say.
“I want to make sure it reads small farm winery, artisan distillery, microbrewery,” she said. “Deviations from those may open up doors that you don’t intend. Distillery would be something like Seagram’s. An artisan distillery would be more fitting for the town. Small farm winery is a state classification. Microbrewery speaks for itself.”
Devon Sharpe, attorney for the town, said he will be reviewing the definition prior to when the Hanover Plan Commission meets at 6 p.m. on Monday to review the request for the amendment.
Auxier said part of project also involves the need for an extension of the Hanover sewer line to the property. He said Auxier Investments would pay 100% of the cost for installing the sewer line.
Hanover Clerk-Treasurer/Town Administrator Keith Mefford said developing the sewer line makes sense, but he wants to make sure “it’s going the right direction and doing what makes most sense logistically.”
The board approved the new sewer line pending approval by Scott Williams, the town’s utilities and street superintendent who was unable to attend the meeting.
In other business, the board:
• Approved $56,750 for a contract with Midwestern Engineering for preparation work in anticipation of a Department of Natural Resources Land and Water Conservation Grant for Hanover Park improvements. The grant amounts to $10,750 for surveying trails, $40,000 for building design (three new buildings and one renovation), and $6,000 for general observation. The buildings include a restroom/storage facility near the amphitheater and two buildings near Fields 1 and 2 that will provide storage and restrooms. The renovation will be on an existing concession/storage building. All buildings will be designed to be American Disabilities Act compliant.
• Approved $4,375 for expenses for Saturday’s Party in the Park. The event begins with a day session from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with free games, food, jump arounds and Kona Ice. The night session starts at 6:15 p.m. and ends at 10:15 p.m. with free music from Robby Cox, the Deatley Trio, and The Back in the Day Band plus sales at food consessions and a beer garden.