The commission voted 4-0 Tuesday, with John Schupp absent, to recommend the city’s zoning ordinance be changed to allow makers of alcoholic beverages in almost every zoning category.
The existing ordinance classifies breweries, distilleries and wineries as food manufacturing operations, thereby limiting them to industrial zones.
But the commission, concerned about waste storage and odor from this type of beverage production, added that a special land-use permit will be required if a proposed site borders a residential property or if the facility is more than 15,000 square feet.
The recommendation will be voted on at the City Council meeting Wednesday.
After a tour last week of the city’s only brewery, the Red Hare Brewing Co. on Delk Industrial Boulevard near Franklin Road, Commissioner Cheryl Richardson and Chairman Bob Kinney said a production on that large of a scale would not be feasible downtown.
However, the commission did not want to enact too harsh of restrictions, especially when the entire policy review was spurred by the City Council’s concerns over Marietta competing with neighboring towns for these trendy startup businesses, Kinney said.
Cities such as Asheville, N.C., have built an entire tourist industry around craft beer breweries and brew pubs.
The only areas of Marietta that the commission’s recommendation would place off limits to breweries, distilleries and wineries is the “neighborhood retail commercial zones,” which are meant for businesses that meet the immediate needs of the surrounding area.
These neighborhoods would still be permitted to have brew pubs, but not larger manufacturing facilities that the other commercial zones would allow if the change is approved by council.
A brew pub typically includes a bar area and restaurant, with 50 percent of sales coming from retail sales on the premises and distributing less than 5,000 barrels a year.