Carlsbad residents resist plans to build alcohol distillery near Boys and Girls Club

City Council will vote on proposal Tuesday

CARLSBAD, Calif. (KGTV) - People who live in the "barrio" neighborhood of Carlsbad are fighting back against a plan to build an alcohol distillery in their backyards.

On Tuesday night, the Carlsbad City Council will vote on a zoning change to allow the distillery in an area of the city bordered by Washington Street to the west, Oak Avenue on the north, Tyler Street to the east and Walnut Avenue on the south.

That area currently has several industrial businesses, a few homes, and the Carlsbad Boys and Girls Club.

"Alcohol and kids don't mix," said Simon Angel, who lives in the area. "It's less than 100 feet from the playground and children will be here every day."

Carlsbad Mayor Matthew Hall will recuse himself from the council vote Tuesday night. He's the owner of the property where a developer wants to build the distillery.

He and the developer turned down multiple requests for interviews with 10News on Monday. Through a spokesperson, the mayor said he doesn't discuss agenda items before they've been presented to the council. The developer, Nicholas Hammond, told 10News he didn't have time to do an interview.

Carlsbad resident Linda Breen said she thinks the mayor's involvement in the project is suspicious.

"It's the dirtiest thing I've ever seen in Southern California," she told 10News. "I'm concerned that the mayor and city council members will trade favors on this."

Under the proposal, the distillery would make several types of hard alcohol. People would be able to tour the facility and get 1.5 ounces per day in a tasting room. They could also buy bottles, but only if they've already taken the tour.

It could also have a restaurant that sells beer and wine.

Angel thinks it's a bad fit for the neighborhood.

"Change is inevitable, but it's the nature of the change that matters," he said.

The City Council will vote on the proposal at their meeting Tuesday. With the mayor's recusal, only four members of the council will vote. It will need three votes to pass.

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