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Information for Michaels' Heirloom Barn Law Application to renovate the Old Christmas Barn into a Craft Beverage Mfg. and Retail Business.

Dear Friends of the Fly Creek Cider Mill & Michaels Family,

This webpage holds information on our application to renovate the old Christmas Barn into a Craft Beverage Mfg. & Retail Business through the Town's Heirloom Barn Law.

We have had a public hearing and continue the process to hopefully- an approval.  In the mean time the Town Board has voted to rescind the Heirloom Barn Law.  They say it will not effect our application but that is yet to be seen. 

Please click on the links below for the complete application and record!

Our application to renovate and use the old Christmas Barn next to the Mill as a possible Craft/Farm Beverage Manufacturing and Retail business.   Our plan is for the Town of Otsego to allow the USE through the existing Heirloom Barn Law so we may then proceed with the necessary renovations while seeking all the required licensing and additional permits.  

The Heirloom Barn law section of the Land Use Law states: 

Section 3.15 Heirloom Barns and Buildings: Barns and agricultural buildings older than 60 years and buildings of any kind of older than 110 years add historic and rural character to the Town and merit protection afforded by adaptive rehabilitation for special permitted uses subject to site plan review to ensure restoration and protection of the historic external appearance and minimum impact on neighbors. Permitted special use of heirloom barns and buildings, for any land use district, included all listed special permitted uses for RA-1, RA-2, H-R, H-B, GB-1, GB,-2 and R/E districts if additional required parking can be masked from roadway and adjacent property view.

The preceding Heirloom Barn Law applicant, Donna Beth Kimmerer, received quick approval with little conflict (minutes below).  Initially we thought that our application would also be received in the same manner however we realize that without additional community support this application may fail to garner a majority of votes.

After three months of meetings (minutes below) to review the site plan the Planning Board voted 4 to 2 to deem the application complete and schedule a public hearing on May 1st.

Our goal is to have the special permitted use approved under the Heirloom Barn Law so we may start the lengthy permitting and planning process.  We know this will take time but it is important to have the use permitted now before the Town Board changes the Heirloom Barn Law. 

We are asking for a letter of support (sample below) mailed to the Planning Board.   We believe this project complies with the Heirloom Barn Law and supports the First Priority Strategies of the Comprehensive plan and when completed will be another visitor amenity. 

Town of Otsego Office Building
811 County Highway 26
Fly Creek, NY  13337
Tuesday, May 1, 2018 - 7:30 PM

Mailing Address:
Town of Otsego Planning Board
PO Box 183
Fly Creek, NY 13337

E-Mail Address: 

Planning Board Clerk - Bill Deane -

Zoning Enforcement Officer - Edward Hobbie -

Planning Board Chair - Tom Huntsman -

Town Supervisor - Meg Kiernan -

Please click on the links below which contain all the information on the application.

If you have question please call Bill at 607-547-9692 ext. 111 or e-mail

Thank You!  - Bill Michaels

Original February Application

Revised Application April Submission

Site Plan

Elevation Drawings

Survey with contours

Minutes from Kimmerer Application

Minutes from Michaels Application

Town of Otsego Land Use Law

Town of Otsego Comprehensive Plan

SAMPLE letter of Support

Public Comment Letters as of May 1

Minutes from Public Hearing and Regular Meeting May 1


Please note that as of 4/29 - Neither the Planning Board Chairman nor any Members or Alternate Members have asked to tour the project.

Property History:

Paul and Florence Michaels (Bill's Great-Uncle/ Hi Michaels' Brother) - Antique Furniture Store and Refinishing Service - 1958 - late 1970's

John Connor - The Christmas Barn - mid - 1980's

Michael Saracino - The Christmas Barn - operation ended ~ 2006

Federal National Bank - Bank Re-posession - 2017

Fannie Mae - Building for sale - 2017

Bill & Brenda Michaels - Purchased early summer 2017

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