MILTON, Ga. — Milton has been working to update its alcohol ordinance since last summer, but before it can uncork permits for breweries, distilleries and wineries, it first has to update its zoning to allow them.

After hashing out some details, the Milton Planning Commission gave its nod last month for new language to its zoning regulations that will permit businesses such as micro-breweries, craft wine markets and growler shops to open in the city’s commercially zoned areas. 

The updates to the alcohol ordinance are set to go before the City Council for first presentation at its Feb. 19 meeting. 

Economic Development Director Sarah LaDart said the planners’ changes clarified information to make it more palatable to business owners and the public. 

Updates to the zoning ordinance will permit businesses within the city’s commercially zoned districts, including accessory structures used by companies, to apply for alcohol licenses. However, LaDart said that while the new regulations will permit all alcohol-related businesses to operate in commercial areas, a company will still have to apply for a license that fits their businesses. 

If passed, the updates will pave the way for several industries to open in Milton that were previously prohibited. 

Micro-breweries have been sprouting up all over North Fulton, and Milton could soon have its own. The updated alcohol ordinance and zoning regulations will permit breweries, micro-breweries, micro-distilleries and distilleries to do business in the city. 

The updates would also open the door to craft beer or wine markets that would be required to offer a minimum number of different selections with no food sales required. A specialty wine market would permit a business with a footprint of fewer than 2,000 square feet to sell wine with at least 30 percent of its sales coming from food. Growler markets would also be permitted to sell their bottles and could apply for an additional license for on-site consumption. 

New alcohol permits would be available for brewpubs, farm wineries, specialty shops, sports clubs, tasting rooms, food hall cafes and private clubs. Each of the businesses are defined in the city’s proposed new alcohol ordinance. 

Several changes to the city’s codes will go before the City Council on Feb. 19 for first presentation. They will include the definitions of the city’s new alcohol licenses and alcohol-related businesses and the updates to the city’s zoning regulations. The City Council can approve or deny the updates at the second reading of the agenda items.

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