San Diego Proposes More Restaurants, Tasting Rooms in Microbreweries

The California Coastal Commission will discuss the proposal at a Dec. 12 meeting

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    With San Diego’s craft beer culture going strong, the city hopes to give local microbreweries another boost by adding restaurants and tasting rooms to the venues.

    The city is currently seeking approval from the California Coastal Commission (CCC) authority to allow this to happen at microbreweries located in industrial areas adjacent to coastal zones.

    The measure will be taken up during a meeting in San Francisco on Dec. 12.

    Taste of Craft Beers

    [DGO] Taste of Craft Beers
    The San Diego History Center is hosting its third annual "Taste of San Diego Craft Brews" fundraiser on February 18, from 6-10pm. This event honors the people-and most importantly, the award-winning beers-that have made history and earned San Diego the title of "America's Craft Brew Capital." Proceeds support SDHC's continuing K-12 educational outreach efforts.

    The proposed ordinance would bring larger restaurants or tasting rooms to microbreweries than would otherwise be allowed in the zoning code. Specifically, the proposal states that manufacturers of malt beverages or distilled spirits would be allowed to develop “an accessory restaurant or tasting room up to a maximum of 25 percent of the gross floor area dedicated to manufacturing.”

    The proposed allowance would only apply to facilities that are at least 12,000-square feet in size. This way, it benefits bona fide microbreweries rather than restaurants with limited on-site manufacturing production.

    Currently, restaurants are limited in most industrial zones to a maximum of 3,000-square-feet in gross floor area.

    The city hopes to modify this in order to encourage expansion and retention of the craft beer and microbrewery industries, a CCC report states. The city has adopted amendments to its industrial zone regulations to make this happen.

    By adding full-service restaurants and expanding tasting and dining options at microbreweries, local craft beer manufacturers can introduce more patrols to their products made on the same premises.

    According to the report, communities in the coastal zone with industrial zoning include Barrio Logan, downtown San Diego, Mira Mesa, Pacific Beach, San Ysidro and Torrey Pines.

    Currently, there are no existing microbreweries that span 12,000-square-feet or more that could use the proposed ordinance. However, in the future, a developer could propose a larger microbrewery that includes a full-service restaurant or tasting room.

    Under the California Coastal Act, the restaurants or tasting rooms would serve as an “amenity to support coastal visitors,” according to the CCC reports, which can be read in its entirety here.

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