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Warren County approves microbrewery permit

By Alex Bridges

A Warren County herb farm operator can move ahead with plans to start a microbrewery and brewpub.

The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted unanimously to approve a request for a conditional-use permit requested by the owners of Sunflower Cottage to operate a microbrewery and a brewpub at their property, which is located at 150 Ridgemont Road, near Reliance Road. Billie and Arnold Clifton needed the permit because Sunflower Cottage is on land zoned for agricultural use.

Supervisors first needed to add definitions of microbrewery and brewpub to the county zoning ordinance, identify the uses as ones approved by a permit and establish supplementary guidelines. The board unanimously approved the changes to the ordinance, made at the Cliftons' request.

At least 5 percent of the hops used in the microbrewery production must be grown on the premises, according to ordinance. The rules also limit the number of seats to 50 in the brewpub and 10 in the microbrewery.

Billie Clifton has said it seemed appropriate to grow hops at Sunflower Cottage given that the key ingredient found in beer is an herb. In addition to the growing popularity of growing hops, the Cliftons also looked at the microbrewery industry.

Sunflower Cottage operators plan to plant hops this spring and then harvest the herbs in the fall, according to Billie Clifton.

Also at the meeting, supervisors:

  • Approved a request from Leslie Bremigan for a conditional-use permit for a kennel at 387 Ritenour Hollow Road on property zoned for agricultural use

  • Approved an amendment to the zoning ordinance pertaining to the repair of non-conforming signs and to bring the county code into compliance with state regulations. The changes allow the repair of non-conforming signs only after the owner follows certain procedures, but not if such work would cost more than 50 percent of the value of each sign.

  • Approved a lease of 2.82 acres of property at 266 Rockland Court to the North Warren Volunteer Fire & Rescue Company for governmental- and public-related uses.

  • Approved a renewal and one-year extension on the Warren County Airport Hangar lease between the board and PHI Air Medical LLC

  • Authorized the lease of 13.4 acres of county property at Rockland Park to Zachary Industrial Inc. as an area for staging and laying down materials during the construction of the Dominion Power Electric Generation Plant in Kelley Industrial Park

  • Appointed J. Michael Spory to serve on the Northwestern Community Services Board
  • Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com


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