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Brewing questions with no answers, yet

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The Wilmington Planning Commission held a workshop Wednesday to decide how to handle small breweries in the Port City.

The meeting started without commission member Bruce McGuire, who called for it, but who has recused himself because of a conflict of interest.

On the front lines of this proposed change, Wilmington Home Brew's business is hopping. It is their thriving retail sales that allows them to stay open. As it currently stands Wilmington's zoning laws wouldn't allow them to operate a brewery without it.

That could all change if the Wilmington Planning Commission updates their zoning regulations to include microbreweries. The commission has kept the issue brewing for months now, but tonight could be the final step in the process.

Local microbrewers say this is about their future.

"In three to five years if we were to expand the brewery or something anything of growth, it would hold us up, so we are hoping that for everyone, too, that this moves through," Michele Savard, owner of Wilmington Home Brew, said.

As it stands so-called microbreweries would be zoned as heavy industrial, which would keep them away from heavily populated areas of town. That's something these folks feel would be bad for business.

The planning commission will vote on the new zoning rules at its next meeting. It then goes to Wilmington City Council for final approval.

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why would anyone want to

why would anyone want to even try to do business in wilmington? it's ridiculous. they have these people in planning....that if your business, whatever it may be, does not fit their idea of what they want wilmington to be, then you won't be allowed. they will make you jump through so many hoops and go through so much red tape that you will burn through all of your savings. you will waste so much time that you cannot afford to open your business if and when they finally give you the go ahead. and if and when you do get the go ahead, they will have required so many things, that its no longer the business you once dreamed of. its the business they wanted, slightly altered to incorporate a little of what you wanted.

example: convention center hotel.

i have seen very few municipalities chase away so much business. if there is demand, people will come and patronize the business. if people people dont like it, for whatever reason, they will not come. the planning department is making excuses to delay these small business owners. i'm sorry to see this continues, and will continue on with no real time frame.