Dunn County amends zoning ordinance to include brewpubs and microbreweries

By LeAnn R. Ralph

MENOMONIE  —  The Dunn County Board has approved amending the county’s zoning ordinance to include brewpubs, microbreweries and microbreweries “large.”

The county board approved adding brewpubs and microbreweries to the permitted principal uses in a general commercial district and microbreweries-large as a special exception at the January 18 meeting. 

Dunn County’s previous zoning ordinance only allowed breweries in heavy industrial zones but did not include microbreweries or brewpubs.

The Dunn County Board’s Planning, Resources and Development Committee began discussing adding brewpubs and microbreweries to the zoning ordinance at the November 8, 2016, meeting. 

While breweries are allowed in heavy industrial zones, microbreweries or brewpubs were not included in the county’s zoning ordinance and became an issue because an application for a microbrewery in a commercial district had been submitted to the county. 

The PR&D committee held a public hearing on adding brewpubs and microbreweries to the zoning ordinance earlier this month and recommended that the county board approve changing the ordinance to include those uses in a general commercial district or as a special exception.

Brewpubs and microbreweries are now permitted in Dunn County’s General Commercial District under the Food/Grocery section.

Amendments approved by the county board also removed from the General Commercial District bakeries, bars and taverns, fruit and vegetable stores, grocery stores, convenience stores, and restaurants, including fast food and drive-in.

The uses that were removed from the General Commercial District are permitted under the Dunn County zoning ordinance in a different section that provides for commercial establishments using less than 3,000 square feet, not including parking.

Microbreweries-large are added to a section on special exceptions that includes special exceptions found in the Limited Commercial District and also includes arenas and stadiums; automobile, marine and agriculture service and repair; contractor’s storage yard; crop farming on unimproved lots; drive-in theaters; machinery and/or fabrication facilities; mini-warehouses for storing personal items such furniture, boats and recreational vehicles; outdoor commercial recreational uses, such as go-carting, golf courses and driving ranges, motor cross and ATV trails; resource recovery facilities; truck stop and service; and renewable energy generation facility with a name plate rating 501kW up to 1,500 kW.

Under Dunn County’s zoning ordinance, a brewpub is defined as a tavern or bar operating under Wisconsin Statute 125.295 offering the sale of food or a restaurant that manufactures fermented malt beverages on the premises and produces a maximum of 15,000 barrels per year. 

Locally-issued licenses or permits may also include additional restrictions on the operation of the brewpub.

A microbrewery is defined as an establishment operating under Wisconsin Statute 125.29 and manufactures, bottles, packages and stores fermented malt beverages on the premises and produces a maximum of 15,000 barrels per year. 

Locally-issued licenses or permits for a microbrewery could allow direct sales to customers of fermented malt beverages.

Tasting of the fermented malt beverages on the premises could also be subject to additional restrictions.

A microbrewery-large is defined as an establishment operating under Wisconsin Statute 125.29 that manufactures, bottles, packages and stores fermented malt beverages on the premises and produces more than 15,000 barrels per year up to a maximum of 100,000 barrels per year. 

Locally-issued licenses or permits for a microbrewery-large could allow direct sales to customers of fermented malt beverages.

Tasting of the fermented malt beverages on the premises could also be subject to additional restrictions.

A brewery is defined as an establishment operating under Wisconsin Statute 125.29 that manufactures, bottles, packages and stores fermented malt beverages on the premises and produces more than 100,000 barrels per year. 

Direct sales to customers from breweries also is permitted with a locally-issued license, and additional restrictions could also be in place for on premise tasting of the fermented malt beverage produced by a brewery.

Although the zoning ordinance amendments were listed on the agenda as for a “first reading,” the Dunn County Board suspended the rules calling for a first reading at one meeting and a second reading at the next meeting and approved the amendments to the zoning ordinance.

Other business 

In other business, the Dunn County Board:

• Approved appointing Dawn McDonald of Boyceville to the Dunn County Economic Development Corporation Board to replace Scott Gunnufson of Colfax and also approved re-appointing Thomas Miller III.

• Approved re-appointing Pat Eggert of Colfax to the Indianhead Federated Library System Board.

• Approved appointing William Hogseth to the transit commission to succeed Dan Fedderly.

• Approved changes to the Dunn County personnel ordinance defining a regular full-time employee as someone working no less than 1,560 hours per year and a regular part-time employee as someone working less than 1,560 hours per year. The ordinance previously defined full-time and part-time as up to or no less than 1,600 hours per year. The ordinance also defines temporary employees and unclassified employees.

• Approved adopting the 2016-2020 outdoor recreation plan.

• Approved a rezone in the Town of Menomonie on 530th Street of one acre from Residential District 1 (R-1) to General Agriculture (GA).

• Approved a rezone in the Town of Tainter from Residential District 1 (R-1) to Residential District 2 (R2) in Tainter Woods Estates on Bayview Road.