LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Louisville distillery had plans to build a second location in Henry County, but pulled its permit application because of push back from neighbors.

Rabbit Hole Distillery is located on East Jefferson Street in Louisville. The owner decided not to move forward with the plan to expand on Lake Jericho Road in Henry County during a public meeting on Monday night.

One speaker during the meeting said residents in a nearby subdivision feel at risk. 

“There was probably maybe six or seven,” Kaveh Zamanian, Rabbit Hole distillery owner, said. “If the neighbors are not for it and have concerns about it, it's best to go somewhere else.”

A group of neighbors voiced concerns about what's commonly known as Whiskey Fungus, or the black substance some say can blanket property near bourbon distilleries.

“Out of respect for those neighbors, we decided to pull the permit,” Zamanian said.

The conditional use permit was for bourbon storage, a craft distillery, tasting room and restaurant.

“There is no health risk and secondarily in terms of damage to property, we had more than ample distance or separation between our plans and adjacent properties,” Zamanian said.

Not all neighbors are celebrating a victory saying this is a missed opportunity for Henry County

“The tax base alone from this proposed development would bring in is over $200,000 when all is said and done for the county and over $100,000 for the school system,” said Jimmie Simpson, who lives in Henry County.

Simpson adds the distillery would have brought high paying jobs.

“25 jobs ranging from $18 an hour to $20 an hour," Simpson said. “That’s a really good job for this county. More tourism means more money for local merchants, local businesses in this county."

“Where there's alcohol, there's money to be made,” said Floyd Wentworth, who lives nearby.

Neighbors in favor of the project say they hope this decision doesn't send the message that Henry County is not open for future business.

“It's my hope this is not a dead deal,” Simpson said.

Rabbit Hole is looking for a new location and Zamanian says it could be nearby in Henry County or in an adjacent county.

“There are a few other alternatives we are considering in the area,” he said.


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