Council OKs zoning changes for Breckenridge Brewery

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By Ramsey Scott

Littleton is officially poised to join the world of craft beer. 

On March 19, the Littleton City Council unanimously approved a zoning change to allow Breckenridge Brewery to build a 12-acre facility at South Santa Fe Drive and Briarwood Avenue next to the South Platte River. The brewery, which should be completed by the fall of 2014, will include a distribution center along with a restaurant and gift shop.

Breckenridge has described the project as a destination brewery, one easily accessed by bikers from the nearby Mary Carter Greenway Trail. 

The 83,000-square-foot brewery will share the 19-acre lot with one of its current occupants, Design by Sundown. The landscaping company is expanding the current facility to include its corporate office.

One of the main issues of concern during the public hearing on the rezoning was the effect the project could have on flooding in the area. The area was identified as being prone to flooding by the 1990 Rangeview Gulch Master Drainage Study, which recommended installing a culvert. 

The city is not yet asking Breckenridge to put in a culvert, although it is requiring the brewery to grade the property to allow for one in the future. A study scheduled for 2014 by the Urban Drainage and Flood Control District should show whether recent improvements have made a culvert unnecessary.

To help mitigate the traffic caused by a full-time brewery, Breckenridge is helping to install a traffic signal at Santa Fe Drive and Briarwood. 

Breckenridge will also expand Briarwood to four lanes and provide improvements to the Meadowood mobile home park, the brewery’s neighbor to the north. 

Another concern was the impact the brewery would have on the scenic qualities of the South Platte River. Breckenridge plans to build two grain silos on the property, which could be as high as 60 feet, and the brewing process produces large amounts of steam, along with smells. 

Breckenridge plans to install a steam conversion system that will collect about 92 percent of the steam produced and use it to heat the water for the next batch of beer. 

Contact Ramsey Scott at ramsey@evergreenco.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 22, and follow him on Twitter @RamseyColumbine.