The Visitors’ Center at the Tuthilltown Spirits distillery in Gardiner has gotten the green light to enhance its capacity to accommodate visitors, increasing the number of visitors who could be seated at one time from 36 to 56 and the number of parking spaces to 93. A site plan by Tuthilltown Holdings, LLC that will expand the public reception area of the facility by 3,850 square feet was approved by the Gardiner Planning Board at its March 22 meeting.
Several conditions were attached to that approval. The most contentious concern with this site in the past has been noise generated by outdoor events and concerts, so Planning Board members and their environmental engineering consultant have recommended that the volume limiters on the facility’s outdoor speakers be preset to adhere to the 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. regulations specified in Gardiner’s zoning code, rather than slightly looser state guidelines. The applicant agreed to this stipulation, and to allow the Town’s code enforcement officer to check on the equipment as needed. Once the renovation is complete, there will be four rather than two outdoor speakers.
As of March 22, a State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) permit for the project’s drywell had not yet been issued by the Department of Health, due to the applicant’s inability to conduct soil tests during the winter, according to Planning Board chair Paul Colucci. A flow meter will be installed, per a conceptual agreement with the DOH, and the chair instructed the applicant to add a note to the site plan specifying “what they’ll do if monitoring shows that the flow exceeds the limits.”
Because the project site at 14 Grist Mill Lane is located on the banks of the Shawangunk Kill, which is officially designated a Recreational River, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation also still needs to weigh in on whether it wishes to exercise its jurisdiction over the project. This was not anticipated to present any difficulties by the Planning Board.
The state’s Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has already ruled that the project’s planned alteration to an industrial archaeology site – cleaning up overgrowth from a sluiceway that once channeled streamwater to the adjacent Tuthilltown Grist Mill – will not be significantly disruptive. “The sluiceway is of significant value to that property and should be maintained,” Colucci noted. In its review, the Ulster County Planning Board recommended that riprap used in streambank improvements should match the existing stone lining of the sluiceway, but also commended the “green aspects” included in the site plan.