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St. Paul City Council members want to ease zoning for craft breweries

Two St. Paul City Council members are asking for an update in some city zoning regulations to make it easier to attract craft brewers and their taprooms.

Council Members Matt Stark and Amy Brendmoen are leading a council effort to have the Planning Commission review the rules for small brewing operations, as the craft brewing industry expands.

The city's longstanding rules were developed when it had such giant brewers as Hamm's and Schmidt.

Said Stark in a statement:

"I have met with a number of entrepreneurs who are committed to Saint Paul and want to operate small breweries here, but they are challenged by our zoning code. We need to make sure our City code accommodates these new small breweries and tap-rooms while still preserving neighborhood livability."

The council members say the city must adapt to new state law changes that allow small breweries to serve beer in on-site taprooms.

Mayor Chris Coleman is working with the council members to get the changes.

Joe Spencer in the mayor's office said they'd like to see changes to allow very small breweries with taprooms to operate outside industrial zones, perhaps downtown or on University Avenue.

"With the state law change allowing taprooms, we've had a lot of folks interested in getting into brewing on a small scale because the additional revenue from the taproom helps make it worthwhile," he said. "But it turns out the city regulations only allow breweries in industrial zones."

Other long-term changes are needed, too, he said.

"We want to make sure local laws keep up with the changes in the industry," Spencer said.  "We have a confusing set of rules and want to make them easier to understand."

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Comments (1)

Hey, surprise!

Our current mindset towards zoning is horrendous as it starkly segregates uses. Maybe St Paul should strongly consider implementing a form-based code that will help maximize development and financial return on their investments (particularly around the CC LRT and any of their possible future streetcar corridors).