The Kent Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to adopt an amendment to the Kent Land Use Ordinance to make microbreweries with retail sales a permitted use in the county’s Cross Roads Commercial Districts.
The amendment is expected to clear a final vote at the next Commissioners’ meeting on Aug. 25
The amendment will give the go-ahead for Richard Carter of Delmarva Craft to renovate an old gas station and auto repair facility on MD. 20 near Rock Hall at 5914 Rock Hall Rd.
The adoption came after unanimous favorable recommendation from the Kent County Planning Commission following a public hearing on May 7. The planning commission said the amendment fell within Kent’s Comprehensive Plan and Land Use Ordinance and that the property and zoning were suited for use as a microbrewery.
Delmarva Craft has estimated that repurposing the old gas station would provide approximately 4-6 part time jobs and 4-6 full time jobs.
The Kent Commissioners held a public hearing on Aug. 11 and there was no opposition to the zoning amendment.
“This is an up and coming industry that needs a home,” said Kent County Commissioner Ron Fithian in a brief call on Wednesday. “It’s a clean business and it’s our responsibility to do anything we can to bring new businesses and jobs here.”
The facility will consist of a retail tavern and a separate area for brewing, which will be owned by a separate entity to comply with Maryland’s alcohol distribution regulations.
Carter said in a letter to the Commissioners that the foot print of the structure will not change and that there will be adequate parking on the 1.2-acre property.