DURHAM — The Planning and Zoning Commission recently voted in favor of a draft regulation allowing farm breweries, wineries, cideries and distilleries to operate in town.
The PZC voted 8 to 1 to in favor of the draft on May 20. A final PZC vote on the new rules is expected next month.
PZC member Joseph Pasquale voted against the change, citing language issues with the draft.
“I have legal concerns that it allows an applicant to come in...that has no agricultural activity on a property,” he said.
According to the proposed draft, the new regulation would allow for agricultural operations to provide tours, tastings, other events, farm cafes and retail sale and wholesale of products grown or manufactured on the premises.
Jesse Allen, owner of Leaning Oak Farms and a member of the Agriculture Commission, said that this regulation was “an amazing opportunity for the community, existing farmers and new and upcoming farmers.”
Janet Morganti, chair of the Economic Development Commission, also spoke in support of the regulation.
“There’s also been the concern of the traffic, the noise, the trash, all of that. There’s no way around it – it’s going to be in somebody’s backyard,” she said. “Part of the ambiance of having a vineyard in the rolling hills of Durham is that you’re in the rolling hills of Durham. You’ve got a beautiful view. You’ve got trees and sun and that’s the kind of atmosphere people are looking for.”