Also during its meeting Thursday, the Forsyth County commission:
• Awarded a proposal for construction management of the jail and courthouse project to a joint venture of Turner Construction and Winter Construction, both of Atlanta, with fees of about $6.3 million.
• Approved a contract for the jail and courthouse project architect, Wakefield, Beasley & Associates, for nearly $4 million.
• Gave final approval to a five-year renewal with Advanced Ambulance Service, with a 10 percent increase in pay for the first year and reverting to the previously agreed-upon increase of 3 percent each year after that.
The company-requested addition that the county would buy its equipment if it launches a government-run ambulance service was also approved. The vote was 3-2, with Pete Amos and Jim Boff opposed.
• Held the first of two required public hearings on an ordinance to locally impose an excise tax on energy for manufacturers, which is being phased out by the state. One resident spoke in opposition. The final hearing is set for Dec. 20.
• Deleted a zoning condition banning drive-through restaurants from an 8.7-acre commercial site on Buford Highway near Nuckolls Road.
• Amended zoning conditions to allow for an Atlanta Fitness center to be built on 11 acres at Majors and Post roads.
Note: All votes were 5-0 unless otherwise noted.
— Alyssa LaRenzie
The latest change to Forsyth County’s alcohol ordinance welcomes brew pubs.
County commissioners voted 5-0 on Thursday night to approve amendments to the code to allow and regulate brew pubs in accordance with state law.
According to the county code, a brew pub is “any eating establishment in which beer or malt beverages are manufactured or brewed, subject to the barrel production limitation … for retail consumption on the premises and solely in draft form.”
Prior to the change, brew pubs could operate but without the ability to wholesale or take advantage of the state law passed years ago that increased the alcohol by volume allowed in beer.
The code modification was set in motion after a local restaurateur sought to open a brew pub, only to realize the county didn’t have a method to accommodate the plan.
During a September work session, Rick Tanner of Rick Tanners Grille & Bar in Vickery Village asked the commission to consider modifying the code.
The commission approved the changes after holding two public hearings, neither of which drew any comments, on the issue.
County Attorney Ken Jarrard said Thursday that a brew pub can sell up to 5,000 barrels of beer to wholesalers for distribution each year.
The restaurant can also sell up to 10,000 barrels per year for consumption at the restaurant.
Brew pubs must still meet the county requirement that 50 percent of sales come from food to retain an on-site alcohol license, Jarrard said.
“But for brew pubs, we will not count the amount of alcohol sold wholesale against it,” he said.
The local code will also mimic state law in increasing the alcohol by volume percentage for brewed beers from the previous 6 to the current 14 percent.