05-02-2019 Round Barn coming to Exit 39, Coloma Twp. Board OKs special use permit to allow for alcoh

Round Barn coming to Exit 39, Coloma Twp. Board OKs special use permit to allow for alcohol sales

By Annette Christie A Special Land Use Permit for Round Barn has been approved by the Coloma Township Board following a special meeting held Monday night, April 29, 2019, which paves the way for it to come to the Coloma area. Matt Moersch, CEO of Moersch Hospitality Group first presented before the Coloma Township Planning Commission at a public hearing last Wednesday. The plan is to open a tasting room and beer garden at the old Jollay Market located at Exit 39 under a lease with Jay and Sarah Jollay. Tastings will be available of wine, spirits, and beer, live music on the weekends, and retail sales. While the property is zoned commercial, the special land use permit is required due to the alcohol sales. There was some discussion about the parking lot size and the number of vehicles it could handle, same with the occupancy in the building. Moersch suspected that the height of the customer base would be between Memorial Day and Labor Day. There was some discussion about adding an accessory building on the property and possibly additional restrooms. The hours, which could be adjusted depending on business, will start out Sunday – Thursday noon – 7:00 p.m. and Friday and Saturday night until 10:00 p.m. There was some concern expressed about the security of the beer garden and how it would be enclosed. Moersch responded that there would be garden boxes and benches around the exterior to keep visitors enclosed. Jollay explained that when they decided to know longer keep the Jollay Market open, they didn’t want the property to set empty for three or four years. They had three or four people who called and Moersch and Round Barn seemed to be the best fit. He said he did go to the neighbors and talk to them about the plan. “I wouldn’t want any business to come into my neighborhood and be detrimental,” Jollay said. Tony Peterson of Contessa said that when he heard about the plan, there wasn’t any live music or late hours. He noted that they are competitors but independent of that he told the Planning Commission that he had a problem with the live music and the late hours. It is of his opinion that wineries don’t stay open that late and he was concerned about people coming down to Round Barn to buy a bottle of wine and then going up to Contessa with their bottle of wine to sit on his nice deck to enjoy the music. A couple wearing shirts with another winery’s logo on them told the Planning Commission that they had purchased 30 acres on Mountain Road to build a house on someday. They said they were concerned that the live music might be too noisy and they objected to the outside beer garden and outside entertainment. Moersch offered to them that when they build their house he would give them his cell phone to call if they had a problem with the noise. “I’m that confident we will be neighborly,” Moersch said. Planning Commission Chairman Gary Griffin responded that there is a noise ordinance in place that handles complaints about that and determines what decibel is allowed. “We are in the zoning business, the police department deals with the noise ordinance,” Griffin said. In fact, the Planning Commission didn’t have any stipulations that Moersch would have to abide by that wasn’t already covered by another ordinance or controlled by another entity such as the Berrien County Health Department or the Fire Department. With a unanimous vote, the Planning Commission voted to recommend the approval of the Special Land Use Permit to Round Barn for final action by the Coloma Township Board. At the Coloma Township Board meeting, the board approved the Special Land Use Permit unanimously with Trustee Bryan Duffield absent. There was no one there to oppose the plan. The Township Board welcomed Moersch to the area. Moersch Hospitality Group has two Round Barn locations in Baroda and one in Union Pier, making this one the first to be located in the northern portion of Berrien County. They also own Free Run Cellars and Tabor Hill.

“May the 4th be with you” and summer reading at Covert Library

Join the Covert Branch Library on Saturday, May 4 from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. for a special “May the Fourth be with you” event! They will watch the film Star Wars: A New Hope & The Empire Strikes Back. Attendees may also make Star Wars theme masks. It is also Free Comic Book Day, and all attendees will receive free comic books provided by Fanfare Comics, of Kalamazoo. Star Wars costumes are encouraged and welcome, and snacks will be served. Board game night also continues in May, on the 8th and 22nd at 5:30 p.m. On Thursday, May 16 the library’s Documentary & Discussion series will continue with the film “Won’t You be my Neighbor” at 4:30 p.m. Discussion will follow with refreshments served. On Saturday, May 18 at 1:00 p.m. learn about, touch, and be amazed by real live alligators from the Critchlow Alligator Sanctuary! Please register for this event by calling the Covert Branch Library. The Covert Book Club will meet on Monday, May 20 at 5:45 p.m. to discuss the book “Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine,” by Gail Honeyman. On Thursday, May 23 at 4:00 p.m. stop in for their new program “Real Jobs.” A real professional will share experiences about how they obtained their careers, and what it entails. May’s Real Jobs professional will be journeyman welder, Joel Green. Van Buren District Library’s summer reading program begins on Tuesday, May 28! Stop in to find out more about summer reading events. Every Tuesday in May at 11:00 a.m. is Story Time! Alphabet letters will be the months’ themes. Art projects, movies, and games happen during Fun Fridays, occurring twice this month (May 10 & 24)! Stop in the Covert Library every Monday 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for “Tech Tips”; bring in your device and they will help troubleshoot any issues with apps, email, etc. In addition receive help with navigating the internet, using MS Office programs, and more. You ask, and they’ll help. Every Saturday at 11:00 a.m. kids build with LEGOs for free! Every Wednesday stop in for “Junior Scientists” at Covert Library at 4:00 p.m. The kids will enjoy this hands-on educational science experiment/activity! This month, they will explore ocean sciences. Junior Scientists is for children ages 6 and above. Every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday at 4:00 p.m. improve your health at the library’s exercise program Move with Michelina. Please call or stop in to confirm times and register for this program. The Covert Crafter’s group meets every Saturday (12:00 p.m.) throughout the month. Every Monday from 10:00 a.m. – 1: 00 p.m. the Library has a social worker intern available to help find answers to questions on educational opportunities, employment, emergency assistance, family matters, and health care. For more information about programs at the Covert Branch Library call 269-764-1298 or visit www.vbdl.org.