Parkville board looking at zone ordinances to support microbreweries

PARKVILLE, Mo. — The City of Parkville moved a step closer to adjusting its zoning codes to allow more flexibility for microbreweries, microdistilleries and microwineries. Parkville director of community development Sean Ackerson explained that current code allows microbreweries and wineries, but only as part of a restaurant operation or in special industrial zoning areas. The market trend has moved away from that business concept, and the city has received many inquiries about stand-alone brewery and winery operations.

“With an increased demand for high-quality craft beer, liquors and wines, microbreweries, microdistilleries and microwineries have flourished throughout the country, including within the Kansas City metro,” Ackerson said in his report to the board during the Tuesday, Nov. 17 regular session.

Planning intern Zach Tusinger tackled the project of analyzing the benefits of changing Parkville’s codes to accommodate these uses. In his report, Tusinger noted that such microbreweries are catalysts for retail and tourism and are increasingly locating in urban and shopping areas.

Parkville staff investigated the policies of other metro area municipalities and found micro-operations across the area. Kansas City has recently adopted regulations for artisanal manufacturing. Closer to home, the City of Weston allows microbreweries in its downtown historic district.

The breweries, wineries and distilleries Tusinger investigated often incorporate tours, tasting rooms and on-site retail sales of related goods or promotional products.

This retail element will be an integral part of the Parkville code revision because downtown business owners have expressed a desire to restrict uses to retail operations in that area of the city. Under the code, 25 percent of the revenue from the business should be generated through on-site sales.

“We really want there to be a community element where people can buy those hats and T-shirts and bumper stickers,” Ackerson said.

During initial research, the city considered capping any potential wholesale sales at 50 percent of the company’s revenue but has since reconsidered. Under Missouri law, micro-operations are limited at 10,000 barrels per year for breweries, 15,000 gallons per year for distilleries and 2,000 barrels per year for wineries. Instead of capping the potential for such sales, the city decided to include the 25 percent requirement.

This language is intended to allow on-site consumption as well as purchase of beer in the original packaging (cans and bottles) or in temporary to-go packaging like growlers — refillable glass containers — according to the report.

The Parkville Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously approved the new code amendment at its Nov. 5 meeting. When first introduced at the October meeting, the commission questioned if there would be parking or delivery logistic problems with such production facilities, but Ackerson said the questions had been resolved. Existing regulations and the requirement for a site and business plan would also serve to address parking and delivery concerns.

Under the new code, the city would allow these uses as primary uses in commercial and industrial districts through the approval of a conditional use permit. Each business may have different attributes, and the permit would allow for flexibility for applicants while ensuring site-specific impacts can be appropriately addressed.

The requirement would not apply to the existing microdistillery in town — SD Strong Distilling — which operates in the Park University Underground.

The board approved the first reading of the amended code unanimously with a second reading for final approval scheduled at the Dec. 1 regular board meeting.

Ackerson also gave a brief update on the highly-anticipated QuikTrip near Parkville Commons. He wished to dispel rumors that the planned development had fallen through.

“We’re in constant contact with the QuikTrip planners and they have in fact purchased the property,” Ackerson said.

The land transaction has been finalized and he said the final development plan is tentatively scheduled to go before the planning commission at a special meeting Nov. 23.