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Approve the 2 Zoning use variances applied for by Henderson Castle Wine Cave

This petition had 194 supporters

I took upon myself a mission to save the Castle 3 years ago, and this improvement is part of the process. I have reinvested about, $250,000.00 in the last 3 years to maintain, fix, and improve the Castle. I currently have created approximately 25 jobs with more to come as business increases. Next year we will start work to replace the roof, install a sprinkler system to protect against fire, and looking forward want to build an elevator to allow for handicap access to the 3rd Floor. These 3 new projects will require over a million dollar investment. For these future projects and the sustainable future of the Castle, it is of the utmost importance to have our wine cave operational so we can generate supplemental income to finance them.

-Francois Moyet, Proprietor

We are planning to appear at the August 14th  meeting in support of this project, and hope that some of you will, too.

Zoning Board of Appeals Meeting

Thursday August 14, 2014


City Commission Chambers at City Hall

241 West South Street


Kalamazoo, MI 49007

The following variances will be required for the Wine Cave.  This does include an off-street parking space variance. 


1. A use variance from Chapter 4, Section 4.1 of the Zoning Ordinance to operate the Wine Cave and conduct wine tastings from Noon to 6 PM seven days a week from April 1st to October 31st annually.  This is a use variance  due to the fact this is Residential – Single Dwelling zoned property and this commercial activity is not a permitted use in the RS-5 District


2.A dimensional variance from Chapter 6, Section 6.1,of 10 off-street parking spaces to allow the additional commercial use (Wine Cave) with a patio seating area 1,065 sq. ft. and 180 sq. ft. structure: total 1, 245 square feet. 



 The new wine cave addition is only an extension of existing Castle activity. We have been conducting tastings in our dining room for 1 year now. This gives our patrons the opportunity to taste the Henderson Castle wine made locally with our grapes at the Fenn Valley Winery. We are currently open to the public for tours 12pm-4pm, daily. We would like to have the cave open to the Castle guests and visitors 12pm-6pm, 7 days a week, from April 1st to October 31st. While here they can view the area’s first underground wine cave and enjoy our wine on the patio which seats up to 24 guests. The hours of the cave are designed so as not to interfere with the existing activity of the Castle. The cave addition did not remove any of our existing 33 parking spaces. The wine cave will be closed to the public during weddings and private events. 

The building itself is quite small, 180 sq ft, and has only one entrance. There is a tv on the wall, playing on loop, a Pure Michigan commercial, an educational wine making video, and a promotional video of the castle. It is connected only to this content through a  USB drive and has no other purpose. We also have installed 2 small coolers to chill some of our wine to proper serving temperature.

The need for these arose as construction progressed. For this reason, part way through the construction project, we applied for electrical permits which were granted.

Throughout the project’s timeline, from plan-ning to completion, we have applied for, and been approved for, all necessary permits. It was only at the final inspection that the need for 2 additional zoning variances were brought to our attention.

Joining together our support and hopefully  your support of this project will go a long way towards protecting the continued  effort to maintain and protect the Castle, which is a treasure for the City of Kalamazoo and the West Main Hill Neighborhood.




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Henderson Castle needs your help with “City of Kalamazoo, Zoning Board of Appeals: Approve the 2 Zoning use variances applied for by Henderson Castle Wine Cave”. Join Henderson Castle and 193 supporters today.