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Beer garden plans may benefit from council zoning

Maryland residents in search of new ways to enjoy alcohol may be pleased to learn that farmers in the state have been working for legislation that could permit some farms to also operate breweries. One such bill was proposed at the state level by a Harford County executive during his time in the Maryland General Assembly. The same official subsequently moved to institute a municipal rule that would also permit the commercial consumption and sale of alcoholic beverages at the farms that produced them.

One family farm in Harford County has planned to open a beer garden. The farm partnered with a creamery to provide dairy products like sandwiches, and it also announced its intentions to have attractions like a petting zoo on its premises. The owner admits he has been officially brewing beers since the business received a federal license in October 2015, and he notes that he eventually hopes to grow all of his ingredients himself.

Observers say that the county legislation's explicit mention of farm breweries in its December 2015 zoning code helped the family's business. Although proponents maintain that the brewery project has stirred notable public interest, the dairy farming that was once an area staple has been in decline for decades.

Many commercial property owners have big business plans, but these commonly depend on factors they don't control. Land use rules might prevent certain business operations or even hinder specific types of development projects. Such owners may want to have the assistance of an attorney who has experience in land use and zoning matters.

Source: Baltimore Sun, "Harford Farm Family Plans Public Beer Garden at New Falling Branch Brewery", Bryna Zumer, Feb. 22, 2016

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