Danville City Council passes vote to change zoning for distilleries

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DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ7) UPDATE

On Thursday, August 3 Danville City Council met to vote on changing the zoning code for distilleries. The vote was passed unanimously during tonight's meeting.

ORIGINAL

In Danville, City Council will consider allowing distilleries in the city at its meeting Thursday night.

A request came in to the Danville Planning Commission to open a distillery in downtown Danville, but when officials looked at the zoning code, they realized distilleries aren't currently permitted.

They've been through this before when they discussed changing the zoning for breweries.

"The Planning Commission voted to recommend that the downtown area, most of the River District through the tobacco warehouse district and the central business district be allowed to have distillery by right, so really no other process other than getting your normal permits," says Danville City Manager, Ken Larking.

The planning commission is also recommending distilleries be allowed by a special-use permit in other areas of the city.

The city manager says the addition of a distillery would just add to the overall atmosphere of downtown.

"It's great to be in a city that's thinking about ways to make our community a more desirable place for people to visit and we're looking forward to seeing all sorts of business go up in Danville and the River District," says Larking.

Business owners in the River District agree.

"I think it's going to bring and make Danville River District a destination for some evening entertainment, a place to come and make us a stop and make people actually come out of their way to come downtown, whether they're from the area or actually traveling through," says Ballad Brewing Head Brewer, John Andorfer.

According to documents, the Dry Fork Fruit Distillery, located in Meadows of Dan, submitted the applicant for the code change.

They did not reply to our request for comment.