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Prison City

The site plan for Prison City Pub & Brewery's proposed North Street facility.

AUBURN — The Auburn Planning Board approved the site plan for Prison City Pub & Brewery's proposed North Street facility Tuesday, clearing the way for the next step in the business's expansion.

The roughly 20,000-square-foot facility at 197-199 North St. would include beer production space, a tasting room, an outdoor courtyard area and a restaurant. Previously the site of Jam-O's Car Wash, the site is owned by the Kyle family, whose KyleCroft Development would be contracted to build the new facility.

The site plan was first presented to the board in January. Since then, upon the request of the board, the brewery's plan has been updated to address concerns about stormwater runoff management, site lighting and the construction of a secondary facility for the treatment of wastewater created by brewing operations.

With members Elizabeth Koenig and Theresa Walsh absent, the board approved the updated plan unanimously on the condition of three modifications: replacing any failed or hazardous North Street sidewalks, making the treatment building exterior similar to that of the main facility, and planting nigra, an evergreen, along the south property line to create a sound buffer.

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The board's approval allows Prison City owners Dawn and Marc Schulz to continue their expansion plans, which they first announced in the summer of 2016. The critical success and popularity of brewer Ben Maeso's beers have created demand that the brewpub has struggled to meet given the limitations of its 28 State St. space. 

The new facility, however, would eventually raise Prison City's annual beer production from about 1,000 barrels to more than 10,000. It would also include canning and bottling lines, and a space for wood-aging beer. The Schulzes expect the facility to create between 20 and 25 full-time jobs. 

Speaking after the board approved the plan Tuesday, the Schulzes said they're excited about Prison City's future.

"We'll move forward now with the next phase, which is additional site plans, and the construction and engineering phases," Dawn Schulz said.

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Lake Life Editor David Wilcox can be reached at (315) 282-2245 or david.wilcox@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @drwilcox.

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I'm the features editor for The Citizen and auburnpub.com, and have been here since 2006. I also cover local arts and culture, business, food and drink, and more.