Stone Mountain City Council will consider ordinance on microbreweries, emergency declaration

City of Stone Mountain seal on the historic railroad depot. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Update: All the items mentioned in this story were approved at the Aug. 17 City Council meeting. Here is our earlier story …

Stone Mountain, GA – The Stone Mountain City Council at its Aug. 17 meeting will consider final approval of an ordinance updating city code relating to microbreweries and microdistilleries.

The City Council will also consider renewing its state of emergency due to COVID-19 so virtual meetings can continue.

City Council will meet starting at 6:30 p.m. and will follow that up with a work session. The meeting will be held virtually.

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To see the special called meeting agenda, click here. To see the work session agenda, click here.

The current uptick in COVID-19 cases due to the Delta variant forced the Stone Mountain City Council on July 28 to temporarily pause plans to resume in-person meetings.

The Stone Mountain City Council declared a state of emergency due to COVID-19 because Gov. Brian Kemp’s emergency declaration has expired. The declaration was set to expire in 30 days unless City Council renews it.

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.

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