Stone Mountain City Council approves first read of ordinance on microbreweries

The Tucker City Council met on Aug. 3.

Stone Mountain, GA – The Stone Mountain City Council on Aug. 3 approved the first read of an ordinance updating city code relating to microbreweries and microdistilleries.

According to a memo from City Manager ChaQuias Thornton, the proposed code update is in anticipation of future development within the city of Stone Mountain.

“As of 2017, where permitted by local ordinance, there was established by Georgia law, an intermediate category of alcohol sale that includes brewpubs, breweries, and distilleries,” Thornton said. “In 2018, the City Council of Stone Mountain amended Chapter 3 Alcoholic Beverages to include definition and provisions for microbreweries. There were, however, no use regulations added to the City’s Zone Code for such use.”

During the Aug. 3 meeting, City Council members filled in the blanks on portions of the ordinance under consideration. The council defined the number of barrels that will be permitted.

According to the ordinance City Council adopted, microbreweries are defined as “a building or group of buildings where distilled spirits are manufactured (distilled, rectified, bottled, packaged, and distributed for wholesale and/or retail distribution) at a rate of production that does not exceed 4,000 barrels annually.”

Council also established operating hours on Saturday night. On Saturdays, these establishments would have to close at 1 a.m. Sunday morning. That was a tie vote broken by Mayor Patricia Wheeler.

“I hate to disappoint some of you, and I think one o clock would be adequate,” Wheeler said.

The ordinance will be approved on a second read, which could occur on Aug. 17.

Council also achieved consensus on Round 2 of the Stone Mountain Cares relief program, agreeing to a maximum pay out of $4,000 per household to help with economic hardships caused by COVID-19 like rent and utilities.

City Council on July 28 approved $125,000 in funding for the program.

Overall the meeting was quicker and more cordial than previous meetings, and City Councilmembers were glad for that.

“I enjoyed this meeting tonight,” Councilmember Shawnette Bryant said. “I think it was peaceful and it was respectful.”

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