Hilltop Cafe in Wilton gets variance for more seats

WILTON – The Zoning Board of Adjustment has approved a variance for the Hilltop Café at Four Corners Farm in Wilton to continue to operate with some changes.

The variance was approved Dec. 10 and the owners have a year to make requested changes. The ruling allows the café to have 24 seats. Hours of operation are from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday-

A new door and window, already constructed, were approved, but any further changes to the exterior of the building will have to be approved by the easement holder and town boards.

Parking will continue as originally approved.

The board had received complaints from neighbors concerning traffic and parking, noting changes to the neighborhood and the effects of the farm operations on their wells.

The Hilltop Café opened in fall 2010, following approval by the Planning Board and the ZBA, with the restriction that the outside of the historic farmhouse could not be changed. Seating at that time was for 15 patrons and all parking was behind the building.

The farm is one of the oldest in Wilton and the only operating dairy farm. Produce used at the café is mainly grown at the farm, which is the site of the Temple-Wilton Community Farm, the oldest such operation in New England and one of the first nationally, dating to 1986. The farm has about 125 members.

The buildings date to the early 1800s and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The property is owned by Senator Development LLC and is under a conservation easement for 99 years. The Community Farm has leased the property since 1998.