Dunwoody considers allowing microbreweries, open container district

Duluth, Kennesaw and Woodstock are just some of the suburban communities that have embraced entertainment districts. (Casey Sykes for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Duluth, Kennesaw and Woodstock are just some of the suburban communities that have embraced entertainment districts. (Casey Sykes for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Casey Sykes for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Casey Sykes for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The city of Dunwoody is considering changing its laws to allow for microbreweries and create an open container “entertainment district” around Dunwoody Village.

The City Council held public hearings on two proposed ordinances Monday. They could be voted on at the next City Council meeting on Feb. 24.

The entertainment district would allow patrons to leave bars and restaurants in Dunwoody Village with alcoholic drinks in hand. The village is a retail and restaurant hub located near the center of Dunwoody, about two miles north of the Perimeter.

Dunwoody Community Development Director Richard McLeod said the idea for the open container district came from similar areas in Roswell, Alpharetta and Woodstock. The ordinance includes a map around the commercial parts of the village where residents would be allowed to drink alcoholic beverages outside using a paper or plastic cup.

Dunwoody is in the process of updating its zoning code for the village to reflect what officials and residents want to see in the way of future development. An entertainment district “fits in well” with the zoning changes being considered, McLeod said. Officials said it could make the Dunwoody Village more business-friendly and walkable.

McLeod said it could pave the way for other areas of Dunwoody to allow open container, including parts of Perimeter Center and the proposed High Street development.

Also under consideration by the City Council is an ordinance that would allow microbreweries, liquor distilleries and specialty wine shops in some commercial areas of Dunwoody. Currently, the city code only allows for brewpubs that must serve food. The new ordinance would allow microbreweries that produce less than 15,000 barrels of beer annually and are less than 15,000 square feet. A barrel is 31.5 gallons.

Larger breweries can be also considered after applying for special permits with the city, under the proposal.

“Microbreweries and breweries have seen a sharp rise in popularity throughout metropolitan Atlanta,” city staff wrote in a memo to council members.

The ordinance states that for the Northside suburb, allowing for breweries would “foster an atmosphere of flexibility and progress in the city of Dunwoody.”

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