SMYRNA — Craft beer fans in Smyrna may have something to look forward to.
On Monday, the city’s planning and zoning board approved by a vote of 6-0 a plan that would allow breweries, brewpubs and distilleries to four zoning categories in the city. Previously, zoning code did not include them as acceptable uses for any category of land.
“Staff has met with numerous brewers looking for opportunities to locate within the city of Smyrna limits,” said Community Development Senior Planner Rusty Martin. “We’ve identified potential locations for them and tried to help them and assist them through the permitting and license process and obtaining these locations, however our zoning ordinance at the moment is silent on breweries.”
If the City Council votes to follow the committee’s recommendation, breweries could pop up in places zoned as general commercial, light industrial, mixed use and central business district.
That latter category would include Smyrna Market Village, home to many of the city’s outdoor festivals and celebrations. In February, the council voted to allow visitors to carry and consume alcoholic beverages in the area.
Councilman Tim Gould, who sponsored the measure, said the city has heard from some microbreweries that would like to locate in Smyrna, but there are no concrete plans yet regarding which brewery could come and where it might be located. He did say Market Village “seems like a great spot” for a microbrewery.
“There are a lot of festivals, a lot of events there,” he said. “That would be a great match with a local microbrewery.”
Gould said he’s behind the plan because it would bring new businesses to the city and potentially draw in out-of-town customers to patronize existing businesses.
“It opens up additional growth opportunities for the city of Smyrna,” he said. “It’s an innovative way to support businesses and promote growth within the city.”
The changes to the code proposed by city staff would be in line with rules already on the books in places such as Marietta, Kennesaw and unincorporated Cobb County. Brewpubs in Smyrna would be subject to the same regulation they are in those places, including stipulations on alcohol percentage and food service.
The craft beer industry has been booming in Cobb County, with Marietta Square about to welcome its first brewery, Glover Park Brewery, set to open early next month. Marietta is also home to the popular Red Hare Brewing Company, and beer lovers have another home at Kennesaw’s Dry County Brewing.
Gould said the zoning change is aimed at attracting another small-batch brewer to Smyrna. Before that can happen, the plan will have to be approved by the full council, which could happen at its Sept. 17 meeting.
Gould said he thinks the council will get behind the plan.
“I think there’s support for it,” he said. “There’s support in the community and there’s support on the City Council. It’s aimed at supporting business growth and making Smyrna an innovative place to live and work.”