You may recall our recent post about the coming of Decatur’s first brewery, Three Taverns, located at East Decatur Station.
Well according to Decatur Asst. City Manager Lyn Menne, when the two local residents involved in the operation approached the city about a license they “found that [they] had no license category that fit.”
Consulting with the city’s attorneys, the city identified “two refinements in existing ordinances that are necessary to support craft brewing operations.” so, tonight the city commission will vote on clarifying the ordinance language, establishing a license category and adding “craft breweries” as a specified use in C3 Heavy Commercial Zoning District. according to the city zoning map (pdf), the only current “heavy commercial zoning district” is located in and around East Decatur Station.
The first refinement could be approved this evening, while the amendment to the zoning ordinance require advertisement and a hearing by the planning and City Commissions, which probably won’t be considered until August.
The zoning change would limit the number of barrels per year to 100,000. An email written by the applicant, Chet Burge, says that Sweetwater brews upwards of 100,000 barrels a year, while Terrapin is “probably approaching 50,000 barrels”.
Ms. Menne notes that diversifying business types, with a focus on locally owned, independent, is part of Goal 2 of the 2010 Decatur Strategic plan.
See page 31 of the city commission meeting materials (pdf) for more detail.