Proposed ordinance aims to provide more location options for craft brewers

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A New Castle County Council member will introduce an ordinance that would lower zoning barriers in locating breweries and distilleries.

The Craft Production Establishment Ordinance will be introduced on Tuesday.

The ordinance would allow craft breweries and distilleries to move from areas zoned heavy industrial to commercial and mixed-use zoning areas. Recent craft-brewing start-ups and one nearing opening are located in industrial areas. (See story below on a new brewerythat is preparing to open.

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“The ordinance would lay the groundwork for a wave of coordinated small business growth, while putting New Castle County at the forefront of a trend that is quickly taking hold in surrounding areas,” stated sponsor, John Cartier, north Wilmington.

The legislation is part of several proposed ordinances regarding the Unified Development Code, which has long drawn fire from business. At the same time, the code has many supporters among those concerned upset with traffic and sprawl in the county.

County Executive Matthew Meyer has reported progress in improving the current system in terms of responsiveness.

One key to profitability in the craft-brewing industry comes from tasting rooms and gift shops that benefit from more visible locations allowed in the ordinance. The ordinance also allows the use of food trucks without a special events license.

“This legislation is exactly what is needed for proactive change in the local economy,” said Michael Stiglitz, owner of Two Stone Pubs and 2SP Brewing. Two Stones has most of its beer-focused restaurants in Delaware, but opted to build a brewery in neighboring Delaware County.

Stiglitz stated that the craft brewing industry is changing rapidly and needs the options offered in the ordinance.

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