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.