New Milford could allow microbreweries
NEW MILFORD — Zoning officials will soon weigh several code changes that would pave the way for the opening of microbreweries, microdistilleries and microwineries.
A public hearing on the amendments is set for March 28.
The zoning code now has no language concerning small-scale businesses that produce alcoholic beverages, which makes it difficult for such businesses to get started in town, said Town Planner Kathy Castagnetta. The proposed amendments make that easier, while also scrubbing outdated liquor laws and clearing up murky language that might have dissuaded brewers or distillers from opening shop.
“It makes it easier for them to move to our town,” said Castagnetta. “Several of these businesses operate around the state.”
The amendments all comply with the town 10-year Plan of Conservation and Development, the Planning Commission recently decided.
The new laws, while opening the door for liquor businesses, still require that those interested seek a special permit from the zoning board.
It’s time to change the code, Castagnetta said. Town staff researched the impact of microbreweries and similar businesses, and have found that the shops and restaurants benefit town economies and promote tourism.
The amendments make it possible for a small-scale alcohol businesses to locate in land zoned for business or industrial use including the business district around the Town Green.
One proposed amendment effectively scraps four lengthy paragraphs of the code that made it impossible to build a small-scale business like Kent’s Kent Falls Brewing Company or Sherman’s White Silo Farm & Winery.
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