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City Council voted tonight to clear the way to allow distilleries in the city. Distilleries will be allowed by right in certain areas, including most of the River District. In other areas, they would be allowed only if a special use permit were granted.
The decision by City Council came after City staff received a request for a change in the zoning code to allow a distillery to operate in the city.
Staff recommended – and City Council approved – distillery defined as follows: “A facility for the production, bottling, packaging and sale of high alcohol content beverages produced on site for distribution, retail or wholesale, on or off premises sales and which meets all Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control laws and regulations.”
Staff also recommended – and City Council approved – that distilleries be allowed by right in the central business commercial district and the tobacco warehouse commercial district. Distilleries will be allowed by special use permit in areas zoned neighborhood commercial, highway retail commercial and planned shopping center commercial.
The Planning Commission had voted unanimously in July to recommend that City Council approve the changes to the zoning code.
Another change to the zoning code approved tonight by City Council will allow a bed and breakfast to include banquet/event facilities for private parties as an accessory use.
In other matters tonight, City Council voted to:
In addition to these votes, City Council held a first reading on several matters:
A first reading is an introductory step required by City Code before certain matters can be voted upon by City Council. This step serves to provide public notice of pending action. Council could not vote tonight. The earliest vote that can take place will be the Aug. 15 City Council meeting.
Council's meeting included a business session followed by a work session. In work sessions, Council reviews non-routine matters that may be voted upon in future business meetings.
During tonight’s work session, City Council scheduled votes on the following items for its next business session, which will be held on Aug. 15.
River City TVairs live all Council business sessions. The taped broadcast is available now on River City TV’s Facebook page.
River City TV does not air work sessions, but they are open to the public.