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Albemarle Cidery Granted Special Permit to Host Larger Events - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Albemarle Cidery Granted Special Permit to Host Larger Events

Posted: Updated: Feb 7, 2013 06:31 PM EST

An Albemarle County cidery has the green light to host larger and noisier events.

Castle Hill Cider was granted the special permit at Wednesday night's Board of Supervisors meeting. The cidery owners are excited about the special permit and they are already planning to have a new annual cider festival.

While the cidery is looking forward to hosting larger events, not everybody is happy about the decision. A new special use permit will allow Castle Hill to have events packed with more guests. In the past, the cidery could have an unlimited number of events but they couldn't host more than 200 guests. That's about to change. The biggest event in the works: a cider festival.

"We want to be part of getting people together so that we can all learn from each other and make better product," said John Rhett, Castle Hill Cider's director of marketing.

The cidery hopes the festival will bring in 1,000 guests. They also plan to host eight smaller events each year with 200 to 300 guests.

Supervisor Ann Mallek voted against the special use permit. She says the loud noise was a concern.

"The residents who have been there have tremendous rights, to their quality of life and their tranquility and so they feel aggrieved when some business moves in and takes advantage of the beautiful scenery which they have worked to create," Mallek said.

Rhett says they are doing all they can to keep the noise down. One entire wall of the building will be a type of glass which is glazed to hold in sound. They are also installing acoustic panels to help absorb the echo.

"We worked very hard having meetings with our neighbors so we could understand exactly what their specific concerns were and so then we worked with the county staff to offer specific solutions to each one of those concerns," Rhett said.

Mallek says even though she voted against the permit, she's happy the cidery is doing all it can to help control the noise level. Castle Hill has hired an acoustical consultant to make sure they take every step to keep the noise down.

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