CITY COUNCIL: Possible changes to regulations could allow breweries in city limits

Published 5:52 pm Tuesday, November 7, 2017

City of Elizabethton officials will soon look at the possibility of allowing breweries set up shop in downtown.
City Council will meet Thursday at 6 p.m. inside Council Chambers and go through a first-reading of an ordinance to amend portions for beer permits and breweries in Elizabethton.
Proposed amendments include requesting the distance for beer permits to be changed from 220 feet to 100 feet from any “established church or school building”, being more aligned with the requirements of liquor stores. Another portion of the amendments mentions adding microbreweries and breweries to operate in land-use regulations within the city.
In documents provided from City Hall, the motion is being brought before Council by Elizabethton Planning and Development Director Jon Hartman after discussions with city resident James Kerr, who was shown interest in bringing a small business, a brewery, to the city.
Hartman indicated in a letter address to Council that the new verbiage “will provide less restrictions of downtown buildings where a brewery may want to locate.”
Under current city regulations, buildings that “may” be facing East E Street would be unable to sell beer due to a church backing up to the building’s entrance on East Elk Avenue – which falls under the current 220 feet regulations. The amendments would allow a business to set up shop in that location.
Hartman added the Regional Planning Commission is currently reviewing land-use regulations to allow breweries and craft breweries within the city, which could bring additional tax revenue.
If passed through a first-reading, a following approval would be needed at next month’s meeting to make changes official.
With a growing presence within the community, Elizabethton Parks and Recreation will soon receive some help.
Council will look at approving the position of a special events and programs coordinator to assist with the growing duties with the department. The position was already approved in the 2017-18 budget with a pay of $27,995.20 a year. City Personnel Advisory Board members met late October and made the recommendation for the position, while changing job descriptions for Human Resources & Risk Management Generalist and Payroll Technician positions, with no changes to salary.
In other business, Council will look at approving an agreement to provide police support during Black Friday shopping Nov. 23, approve a correction to wastewater usage schedule for 2015 and hear a presentation from Elizabethton IDEAS group member Metin Eryasa about whitewater rafting tourism opportunities.

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