Smyrna breweries might be on the way

Under-construction Riverview Landing expressed interest in ordinance allowing Smyrna breweries (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)The developers of under-construction Riverview Landing reportedly expressed interest in ordinance allowing Smyrna breweries (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)

What is Smyrna’s policy on breweries and distilleries? Until this week, the answer was that there wasn’t one, with the city’s zoning code silent on the matter.

A number of people have approached the city about opening breweries of late, so after some extensive study the council on Monday night formally adopted an ordinance. Specifically, the policy relates to the use of breweries and distilleries within city limits, designating them as permitted uses for general commercial, light industrial, central business district and mixed-use zoning.

We have a history of people inquiring about this,” said Smyrna Community Development Director Ken Suddreth. “We feel now is the time to act on that. Our zoning ordinance is indeed silent on (breweries and distilleries). What this amendment does is it gives us the ability to address these breweries that have been requested of us.”

Several companies reportedly are interesting in opening a brewery, brewpub or distillery in Smyrna, including the developer behind the under-construction Riverview Landing project next to the Chattahoochee River.

Local breweries have become trendy across the country in recent years. Smyrna Mayor Max Bacon and Community Development Director Ken Suddreth said that other Cobb cities either already have a similar policy or will simply copy Smyrna’s.

If they don’t already have it, they are working toward it,” Suddreth said. Bacon added, “that means they’ll copy what we adopt tonight and put their name on it.”

The vote was a unanimous 7-0 in favor, and had previously been approved 6-0 by the city’s planning and zoning board. It was the third time in two months that a Smyrna city council meeting featured an alcohol policy change. First was expanding the city’s carry out/open container areas in early November, followed by the council formally adopting earlier Sunday alcohol sales after a vote from city residents, and now the adoption of a brewery and distillery ordinance.