Council approves microbrewery operation in commercial districts

A microbrewery looking to settle into Lacombe has moved one step forward towards serving up some local brew.

A microbrewery looking to settle into Lacombe has moved one step forward towards serving up some local brew.

City councillors approved third and final reading to amend a bylaw to consider a microbrewery as a discretionary use in commercial districts of the City at their regular council meeting on Feb. 9th.

A microbrewery is a facility where beverages of a low alcoholic content are produced and packaged. The facility may include distribution, retail or wholesale on or off the premises, and in the case of Blindman Brewery, the applicants for the Lacombe facility, a tasting room where people can sample the locally-produced beer.

“We came to the realization that a larger building might be more conducive for our future,” stated Blindman Brewery co-owner Hans Doef. “We are looking at both the commercial and industrial sector of the City.”

Doef indicated to council that they found an industrial location, but through zoning, retail operations are not permitted in an industrial zoned area, which is why they requested the amendment to the bylaw to also include not only commercial but industrial areas in the City.

Council Chambers was packed and two citizens spoke in support of the application during the public hearing.

After the hearing concluded, councillors had many questions for the applicants including their intention to receive an amendment for microbrewery use in the industrial districts.

Council debated the application, but thought it was in the best interest and for transparency purposes to only approve the amendment to the bylaw allowing microbreweries as a discretionary use in commercial districts of the City.

But, even with the approved amendment, it does not mean this is the last hurdle Blindman Brewery has to clear to start business.

If the company wishes to set up shop in an industrial area (zoned I1 or I2) they must reapply before council to receive approval.

The application must also be approved by the Municipal Planning Commission.

Council passed first reading on Jan. 12th.

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