Several downtown Ellicott City residents are opposing a liquor license request for a combination microbrewery and restaurant on Main Street, saying they fear the operation will cause noise, odor, truck traffic and late-night revelry.
"We bought our house in Ellicott City because we liked the charm and quaintness," Dee Dee Lancelotta, a resident of Court Avenue behind the proposed microbrewery, told the Howard County Liquor Board at a hearing this week. "I don't want a factory-type atmosphere -- producing beer and having trucks."
A group of investors is planning to open Talbott's Stone House Inn and the Koenigshaus brewery in two Main Street buildings formerly occupied by Talbott Lumber Co. The group is seeking a restaurant liquor license -- a prerequisite to obtaining a state license to brew beer on the premises, said Martin Virga, Koenigshaus president and brew master.
Mr. Virga said the microbrewery, which would produce as many as 6,800 barrels of lager beer a year, would create minimal truck traffic and noise and would emit mild odors similar to a bakery. He said the inn and brewery would be historic district assets and attract "a more upscale crowd, not the typical 21-to-25 beer crowd."
But the business needs to raise about $400,000 before it can open, he said.
Another Court Avenue resident, Michael Powell, expressed concern about the license review process, noting that brewery investors have bought brewing equipment before obtaining a license. "The whole transaction looks a little cheesy," he said.
But County Council Chairman Charles C. Feaga told Mr. Powell that the liquor board and other county commissions often have denied plans after applicants made large investments. The council also serves as the liquor board, which will consider the request at a Nov. 6 work session.
Road to historic land named Homeplace Lane
Elkridge's newest road -- which leads to a historic, private 2-acre parcel -- was named yesterday when Howard County workers installed a sign that reads "Homeplace Lane."
The Rev. Roland Howard, a lifelong Elkridge resident, petitioned the county in June to name the long dirt driveway that stretches from Mayfield Avenue to his family's land.
In August, the planning and zoning office chose to name the private road Homeplace Lane -- in honor of the cabin that was home to three generations of Mr. Howard's family. The cabin often was visited by Harriet Tubman while she helped blacks escape slavery on the Underground Railroad. The property was included in the Maryland Inventory of Historical Properties last year.
The street sign is brown with white lettering -- instead of green and white like other county signs -- to distinguish it as a private road, said Cindy Delzoppo, land development planner for the planning and zoning office.
It's a safety measure to name private driveways so emergency services can find the address, Ms. Delzoppo said.
Ellicott City: 3000 block of Oak Green Circle: A burglar entered an apartment through a ground-level sliding window Wednesday and took electronic equipment, cash and other items, police said.
Elkridge: 6400 block of Pennel Court: Burglars riding in a black Dodge pickup truck stole building supplies from a house under construction Saturday.