Last week, the Henry County Planning Commission unanimously approved construction of two more rickhouses on the Angel’s Envy distillery property off Highway 421–Campbellsburg Road.
The approval increases the overall number of rickhouses on the distillery property to eight, up from five initially approved for the site.
“To stay on our building plan, we need to have a place to keep our bourbon,” said Angel’s Envy attorney John C. Talbott of Bardenwerper, Talbott & Roberts, PLLC.
Talbott also said the increase in the number of rickhouses approved for the site doesn’t increase the number of barrels of bourbon planned for storage on the 364-acre property because the company initially planned for some palletized warehouses that hold more barrels than rickhouses.
Angel’s Envy project engineer Nick McMahan said that the two approved rickhouses would be 60 feet high with a capacity of 27,000 barrels each.
“We’re going more towards rickhouses than we are palletized,” McMahan said of the decision to extend storage space vertically with rickhouse racks rather than horizontally with warehouses designed to store bourbon barrels on pallets on slab foundations.
McMahan also said that Angel’s Envy plans to start the construction of the two approved rickhouses as soon as possible.
“We’re working on some drawings of the containment basins on each one.” he said, further explaining that the containment design accounted for a 100-year storm event over a 24-hour period in addition to 110% capacity of liquid storage and 20 minutes of firefighter response at 2,000 gallons of water per minute.
Talbott commented about the location of the rickhouses in relation to adjacent properties.
“I think it’s about 2,000 feet is as close as it gets to anyone’s house,” Talbott said.
Angel’s Envy previously proposed construction of the two rickhouses at a different location on the site, which prompted objections from neighboring property owners, Jerry and Jennifer Rankin.
Talbott explained to the commission that the amended development plan did not place the two rickhouses at that rejected location near the Rankins’ property.
“Any change we would make in the plan, we would have to come back here,” he said to the commissioners.
Talbott said that the property has underwent changes of its own related to the compromised dam of an on-site pond.
“It’s a real problem, and it’s got to be fixed,” he said, adding that the U.S. Corps of Engineers is involved in the process to repair the dam.
Talbott also said that the company has eliminated the emergency access road provided in the previous development plan.
“With the roads we have, we satisfy the fire codes for that,” he said.
The increase in rickhouse construction on the distillery site is in addition to the 25 rickhouses approved last year on the 1,250-acre property formerly known as the Glenview Acres Farm, which borders part of the distillery site property.
“We have commitments to make connection in two years to that property,” said McMahan, adding that the company plans to develop some of those connection between the two properties over the summer.
With the connection of the two properties, the company could seek extension of the industrial use for the distillery property where it borders the 1,250-acre former farm.
“Within two or three months, we may come back and ask for that,” said McMahan.
Talbott said that such a request would only impact the two company properties.
“If they decided to do that, the only neighbors they’d be impacting is themselves,” he said.
Commissioner Mike Ray said that Angel’s Envy has maintained communication with adjacent property owners throughout the development process over the years.
“I think the applicant has done a very good effort in doing that,” Ray said before the approval, which included continuation of the binding elements from the 2018 rezoning of the distillery property in addition to subsequent agreements made.
In commission action after the Angel’s Envy approval, the commissioners also unanimously approved an 11-lot subdivision in Bethlehem requested by Ed Nelson with a deed restriction against modular homes.