More than 500 people signed a petition in support of Tribus Beer Company’s proposal to establish the city’s first craft brewery at an old industrial site, according to Milford resident Brett Broesder, who started the petition.

The petition, at Change.org, (http://bit.ly/2ARsDKZ) states “Tribus Beer Company wants to invest in a better Milford by establishing a new craft brewery at 100 Raton Drive in Milford. However, making this project a reality is contingent on getting approval from Milford's Planning and Zoning Board.

“The Tribus craft brewery will be located in an industrial area, creating jobs and breathing new life into an area that will benefit from it,” the petition continues. “The success of craft breweries is about more than beer; it's also about serving as a gathering place, a source of local identity and pride, and as a means for turning rundown industrial properties into engines for economic growth and job creation.”

The petition was launched less than one week ago and aims to encourage local Planning and Zoning Board members to approve the request from Tribus to establish a craft brewery with a patio and pub at 100 Raton Drive.

To launch, the owners of Tribus need a special exception from Milford's Planning and Zoning Board to establish a brewery with a pub and patio at the location, which includes a 15,040-square-foot industrial warehouse on 2.28 acres of land off of Plains Road, Broesder says.

Supporters of the proposed microbrewery squared off against neighbors at the Planning and Zoning Board’s Dec. 5 meeting, which was attended by about 50 people.

Nine people spoke in favor of the brewery, saying it would be an asset to Milford, while 13 residents spoke in opposition.

For example, Gregory Harla, vice chairman of the Milford Economic Development Commission, said craft brewing is a $718 million industry in Connecticut that attracts tourists.

Frederick Miller of 65 Henry Albert Drive said, “I think it is very important we continue to attract businesses of this type,” adding that it would generate tax revenue without putting a burden on city schools.

Speaking in opposition, Vincent Sarullo of 45 Haystack Rd. said, “This is not a zone for a pub or patio. We set up downtown Milford just for this. To put a pub and a patio in an industrial zone makes absolutely no sense.”

Robin Moran of 500 Plains Road said a project needs to be in harmony with the area and not have a traffic impact.

“This will have a negative impact on the value of my home,” said Moran.

Under the zoning regulations, manufacturing is a permitted use in the zone. However, the tasting room or pub and patio require a special exception, since they are not explicitly allowed or prohibited in this area.

“Milford’s Planning and Zoning Board took up the issue at a public meeting Dec. 5, 2017,” Broesder said in the press release issued Saturday. “However, the board closed the hearing and [was] unable to take a vote on the project due to time constraints. It’s likely that the board will vote on the proposal at its meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017.

In Milford, special exceptions require at least seven of the ten board members to vote in support.

“If the Tribus proposal is approved, the craft brewery will join an industry that is booming across the state, and there are virtually no signs that it will slow down anytime soon,” Broesder said in his press release. “There’s currently about 60 craft breweries up and running across the state, and around 40 more are in the planning stages. Connecticut's craft beer boom is resulting in a nearly $569 million economic impact annually and the creation of more than 4,600 jobs and counting, according to the Brewer’s Association.”

Broesder is a Milford resident. Previously, he served as the communications director for Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin and for Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch.