STEVENSVILLE — Watermark Brewing Co. in Stevensville will once again be able to use a warehouse behind its business to store unfinished beer while it ferments.

Stevensville trustees approved Wednesday vacating two alleys between Watermark on St. Joseph Avenue and its warehouse on Mill Street.

After the meeting, President Steve Slavicek said that means that the alleys will be split in half, with property owners receiving the half on their side.

One of the alleys, which is paved, runs behind the brewery from Kimmel to Lawrence streets. The second alley is a green space that runs perpendicular from the paved alley to Mill Street.

Trustees said in January that they didn’t know the second alley existed until one of Watermark’s owners brought it to their attention.

The resolution states that an easement over the full length and width of the alley is required for pedestrian and vehicular access and for utility work.

Chris Mason, one of the owners of Watermark, said Michigan Liquor Control Commission officials told the brewery that product couldn’t be moved off Watermark’s property, per state law.

Because the alleys were owned by the village, moving product across the alleys was prohibited.

“We just want to be able to move beer across this alley. It’s that simple,” he said after the meeting. Mason is also a village trustee.

Slavicek said Watermark is paying what it cost the village to pave the alley in 2016, which was close to $20,000. The resolution gives Watermark 14 days to pay the money. 

He said since the village no longer owns the alley, the property owners are responsible for its maintenance and snow plowing.

In addition, trustees approved rezoning three properties from commercial to residential – 2820 W. John Beers Road, 5726 Berrien St. and 5730 Berrien St.

After the meeting, Slavicek said the three houses are the only ones on the block zoned commercial, with the rest of the block zoned residential or multi-family.

At a previous meeting, the owners of one of the houses asked village trustees to rezone their property residential so they could sell it. They said with it zoned commercial, prospective buyers couldn’t get loans to buy the house because it couldn’t be rebuilt if, for example, it was damaged more than 50 percent by fire.

In other business, trustees approved hiring Nick Curcio from Grand Rapids as the village’s attorney.

Contact: lwrege@TheHP.com, 932-0361, Twitter: @HPWrege