Architectural Review Board approves Precarious Beer patio concept

The Williamsburg Architectural Review Board gave its approval to conceptual plans for an outdoor patio at the upcoming Precarious Beer Project microbrewery in Merchants Square at its meeting on Sept. 11.

The brewery’s owner, Andrew Voss, was at the meeting with design concepts for an outdoor patio space planned for the front of the brewery, which would be at the corner of Francis and South Henry streets.

“Our concept here is that we’re proposing to wrap those two sides of the building with an outdoor patio,” said Voss. “The conceptual part of this that we do plan to come back with additional specifics on (are) the materials, but what we’re trying to look at is whether or not a patio at this location is a viable option.”

Architectural Review Board members reviewed the application, which outlined ADA-compliant ramps and steps, lights and outdoor furnishings, two wood trellises with polycarbonate roof panels to provide coverage to outdoor diners and a masonry fire pit at the corner of the patio. The application also included a new fabric canopy to be placed over the patio space, the removal of a balcony slab on the south side of the building and the modification of three arched windows on the building to allow for the installation of double doors into the brewery.

Andrew Edwards, the body’s second vice chairman, said he generally approved of the plan, but held some reservations about the proposed fire pit.

“My only concern about the fire pit was that it might be distracting at the (nearby) traffic light,” he said.

Other board members were more enthusiastic about the plan, saying the outdoor dining venue would add to the overall appeal of the planned restaurant and brewery.

“I’m a huge fan of what you’re talking about doing here, making some outdoor dining here and making that space, I absolutely love it,” said board member Joseph Hertzler. “I am also a huge fan of the fire pit, I think it’s going to add some dance of light there at night, it’s going add some real pop.”

The application is expected to go before the Planning Commission at its Sept. 19 meeting.

Solar panels

The Architectural Review Board also recommended the approval of a revision to the city’s solar panel regulations for homes in the city’s entrance corridors and historic neighborhoods.

The recommendations allow the use of roof-mounted solar panels in two of the city’s architectural preservation district zones, but would ban their use in Colonial Williamsburg’s historic area and the old campus of the College of William and Mary. The panels would be allowed in the other two zones, which encompass College Terrace, Burns Lane, Indian Springs and Capitol Landing Road.

The application guidelines also would apply to major entrance corridors into the city, which include Richmond Road, Monticello Avenue and Route 199.

The guidelines would require solar panels to leave the building’s roofing undamaged, regulate the placement of the panels and require panels to match the building’s existing roof color. The panels would also need to be hidden from view from Colonial Williamsburg’s historic area.

The new guidelines are now expected to go before Planning Commission at its Oct. 17 meeting. The zoning code amendments would then go to City Council for final approval in November, if approved by Planning Commission.

Arriaza can be reached at 757-790-9313 or on Twitter @rodrigoarriaza0.

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