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I have been on this forum for a couple months but this is my first post. My sister and I are in the preliminary stages of our business plan. We are reaching out to local municipalities about the prospect of a distillery in their towns.

When looking for a physical location, does it have to be an industrial zoned building according to the TTB or is that more of a local/state guideline? 

On the TTB guidelines we could only find:

Quote

§19.52   Restrictions on location of plants.

A person who intends to establish a distilled spirits plant may not locate it in any of the following places:

(a) In any residence, shed, yard, or enclosure connected to a residence;

(b) On any vessel or boat;

(c) Where beer or wine is produced;

(d) Where liquors are sold at retail; or

(e) Where any other business is conducted except as provided in §19.54.

We have found some properties that are listed as retail locations but have huge open warehouse spaces which we could utilize for the DSP and a front room for a tasting room.

Any insights would help. Thank you!

Alex

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HedgeBird    24

No, your DSP does not have to be in an industrial zoned building.  Zoning really only comes into play with your local government.  The TTB almost certainly does not, and your state probably does not, take into account zoning when issuing permits.  My own distillery is in a residential zoned area of the city, but I was able to receive a variance from my local municipality. 

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1 minute ago, HedgeBird said:

No, your DSP does not have to be in an industrial zoned building.  Zoning really only comes into play with your local government.  The TTB almost certainly does not, and your state probably does not, take into account zoning when issuing permits.  My own distillery is in a residential zoned area of the city, but I was able to receive a variance from my local municipality. 

Thanks for the response. We reached out to the state department and they said it just cannot be in a residual premise but the zoning is totally up to the local municipality. We reached out to every municipality around us but the couple we have prospective locations in have not gotten back to us. Thanks for your response.

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Glenlyon    4

Choose your location very very carefully - because this could happen to you...

First we established a great location. Then before anything else! We canvassed the surrounding neighbors and they had two questions for us...

"What are you going to make?" And,

"When can we buy it?"

OK - that sounds great. Next we approach the district with our idea. The conversation goes like this...

Ask: "We'd like to set up a distillery."

Response: "It'll never happen, piss off and leave us alone." Literately.

Hmmm.

After a bit of a depression, we quickly rallied and wrote a 3 page essay outlining ourselves and our idea as we envisioned it. It took about 3 weeks to get it right. We debated every word extensively. This document has since become the cornerstone of our venture. We painstakingly filled out the rezoning application form. We headed back to the district. We slapped down our essay, the completed application and the $3,000 rezoning fee.

"Great!" they said "snatching up the money. "We love the idea! However, you have to proceed through this rezoning process which is going to take at least six months. Good luck."

So, the months pass by. (We are now pushing 8 months.) We get a few requests for more information here and there from the district - the odd inspector wanders around - then, eventually, they release their long awaited report.

Its favorable! They really do love the idea! Yea! But wait. What's this? A public information meeting is the next step? OK. No worries.

Dutifully we put up a rezoning sign on the property in question and advertise the public meeting in the local newspaper.

Suddenly - EVERYONE - is adamantly opposed! Did they think we weren't going to do this? What? Were we blowing smoke up their asses when we were explaining the idea? WTF?

Everybody we went to in the beginning changed their attitudes - inexplicably. Letters fly into the district - people are really pissed off. Now we're evil bootleggers promoting loud rock music and causing no end of destruction mayhem to the land and society in our otherwise peaceful neighborhood! Kill the bastards! Drinking and driving is all our fault. The myths surrounding the project grow by the day and the ladies are all talking it up at the school bus stop every morning. Its fcuking crazy! 

The funny thing is - is that every single one of the people who wrote letters opposing the project never even bothered to look up the project information - advertised and easily available on the district's website. So, their letters brought up all kinds of simmering complaints - many having nothing to do with the actual distillery. 99% was misguided perception due to lack of knowledge.

Yet, remember, we had actually gone to these people and discussed the idea at length before we started the process!  Sheesh.

The actual live public meeting happens next Thursday (June 8, 2017) and it going to be a VERY LIVELY event!!

We have confidence we'll survive because we have been able to muster an unexpectedly powerful tool - the ability to write really well and to be able to do really thorough research. You have to out think your opponents and great written rebuttals are saving our asses. For the impending meeting we have put together a visual presentation that we have put weeks and weeks of work into and it rocks.

Hopefully, we can change the conversation back in our favor. We'll see.

Although - sadly, mediocrity does tend to prevail - so, perhaps we'll be voted down in the end after all.

Its hard to fly like an eagle when you're surrounded by turkeys.

Cheers,

Glen

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The TTB will assume that you've complied with all state and local laws and permits.

It's really up to the local municipality as to how easy or hard it will be to locate your DSP there. They generally will want you zoned industrial since it's technically manufacturing, but variances are often given out. Don't forget that zoning variances usually take input from locals at an open hearing, so it pays to go around and be friendly ahead of time.

So it totally depends on how cooperative the locals are and that varies to both ends of the extremes. Even if there's nothing legally a local municipality can do to deny you, they can always have the fire marshal put the thumbscrews to you and make it very expensive on you so you go away. Hopefully you have it easy in that regard.

Best of luck

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15 hours ago, Glenlyon said:

Choose your location very very carefully - because this could happen to you...

First we established a great location. Then before anything else! We canvassed the surrounding neighbors and they had two questions for us...

"What are you going to make?" And,

"When can we buy it?"

OK - that sounds great. Next we approach the district with our idea. The conversation goes like this...

Ask: "We'd like to set up a distillery."

Response: "It'll never happen, piss off and leave us alone." Literately.

Hmmm.

After a bit of a depression, we quickly rallied and wrote a 3 page essay outlining ourselves and our idea as we envisioned it. It took about 3 weeks to get it right. We debated every word extensively. This document has since become the cornerstone of our venture. We painstakingly filled out the rezoning application form. We headed back to the district. We slapped down our essay, the completed application and the $3,000 rezoning fee.

"Great!" they said "snatching up the money. "We love the idea! However, you have to proceed through this rezoning process which is going to take at least six months. Good luck."

So, the months pass by. (We are now pushing 8 months.) We get a few requests for more information here and there from the district - the odd inspector wanders around - then, eventually, they release their long awaited report.

Its favorable! They really do love the idea! Yea! But wait. What's this? A public information meeting is the next step? OK. No worries.

Dutifully we put up a rezoning sign on the property in question and advertise the public meeting in the local newspaper.

Suddenly - EVERYONE - is adamantly opposed! Did they think we weren't going to do this? What? Were we blowing smoke up their asses when we were explaining the idea? WTF?

Everybody we went to in the beginning changed their attitudes - inexplicably. Letters fly into the district - people are really pissed off. Now we're evil bootleggers promoting loud rock music and causing no end of destruction mayhem to the land and society in our otherwise peaceful neighborhood! Kill the bastards! Drinking and driving is all our fault. The myths surrounding the project grow by the day and the ladies are all talking it up at the school bus stop every morning. Its fcuking crazy! 

The funny thing is - is that every single one of the people who wrote letters opposing the project never even bothered to look up the project information - advertised and easily available on the district's website. So, their letters brought up all kinds of simmering complaints - many having nothing to do with the actual distillery. 99% was misguided perception due to lack of knowledge.

Yet, remember, we had actually gone to these people and discussed the idea at length before we started the process!  Sheesh.

The actual live public meeting happens next Thursday (June 8, 2017) and it going to be a VERY LIVELY event!!

We have confidence we'll survive because we have been able to muster an unexpectedly powerful tool - the ability to write really well and to be able to do really thorough research. You have to out think your opponents and great written rebuttals are saving our asses. For the impending meeting we have put together a visual presentation that we have put weeks and weeks of work into and it rocks.

Hopefully, we can change the conversation back in our favor. We'll see.

Although - sadly, mediocrity does tend to prevail - so, perhaps we'll be voted down in the end after all.

Its hard to fly like an eagle when you're surrounded by turkeys.

Cheers,

Glen

While reading this post I was getting fired up for you! I hope it does not come to this but there is always a chance for anything. I will be looking forward to hearing about your public meeting. Put it on Facebook live for us to watch at ADI hah. I appreciate all the detail and best of luck!

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14 hours ago, Sator Square Distillery said:

The TTB will assume that you've complied with all state and local laws and permits.

It's really up to the local municipality as to how easy or hard it will be to locate your DSP there. They generally will want you zoned industrial since it's technically manufacturing, but variances are often given out. Don't forget that zoning variances usually take input from locals at an open hearing, so it pays to go around and be friendly ahead of time.

So it totally depends on how cooperative the locals are and that varies to both ends of the extremes. Even if there's nothing legally a local municipality can do to deny you, they can always have the fire marshal put the thumbscrews to you and make it very expensive on you so you go away. Hopefully you have it easy in that regard.

Best of luck

Thank you! We have reached out to some local municipalities where we are interested in of locations. The density of our area is populated densely, within a 20 mile radius we have over 15 municipalities. 

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There are many zoning types. So research and talk with the local building/fire department to see which ones they will allow you to use.   For us we are in a pip2.   This allowed us to have the manufacturing and a sales room although there are limits on sales area with this type of zoning.   Then once you find a building that might be suitable you have to look at occupancy.   Occupancy is cheaper/easier to change than zoning.   Occupancy really only requires meeting the current code to make the change.  This can be an issue with older building if they have not been updated to current Ada standards. 

One thing that bit us was the lack of documentation on the building we rented. It had not had any permits pulled for internal modifications for 20 years, yet a lot of work had been done.   The building had also changed jurisdictions since it was built which didn't help with having changes documented.   Not exactly sure how you would research that prior to signing a lease.   The better way to deal with it would have been to have an out in the lease if issues came up in getting changes approved. 

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dhdunbar    35

I will say something that is obvious in everything said above.  I assist with federal regulations, but I always tell clients take care of local issues first.  TTB does not just assume that you are zoned properly; whether or not you are zoned properly is not a matter of official concern to them.   They do not care if there is a childcare center in an adjoining unit, with no proper fire barriers.  The official attitude is "Let the kids perish."  They don't care if you want to locate within 500 feet of a church and that doing so might upset the parishioners, who according to blue laws such as that, must be more tempted to demon rum than those who attend church more than 500 feet away.  The official position is "So be it; let those sinners descend into depravity."   Unless the laws of the state completely forbid anyone from engaging in the business you propose, i.e., the laws make it illegal to operate a distilled spirits plant, for example, in that state under any circumstances,  TTB has no legal basis for denying federal registration and permits on the grounds that your project would somehow offend local or state ordinances,  That TTB is officially callous is a good thing.  Would we really want a situation in which federal approval depended on a promise not to speed when making deliveries?

Official callousness is obviously, and properly, not true of the local fire marshall and others who enforce local codes.  No doubt, officious objections can cause real problems for you when there is no real problem with what you propose, but DSP's can also create real problems with which state and local codes must deal.  Generally, my advice is, "Do not worry about TTB.  We can work around most potential objections."  There is a brewery located in the same warehouse space? Okay, we'll put up a chain link fence and make sure a door to the proposed DSP opens into a public area, etc.  From the list someone posted above (and it is a good list, lifted straight from the regulations, which in turn lift it straight from the stature), the stumbling block can be a residence on the same tract of land.  However, that is not hopeless.  If you live in an area that will allow you to have a DSP on the residential property, and want to put a DSP in an outbuilding, do not ignore TTB in the early planning states.  Otherwise, think local first.

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42 minutes ago, dhdunbar said:

I will say something that is obvious in everything said above.  I assist with federal regulations, but I always tell clients take care of local issues first.  TTB does not just assume that you are zoned properly; whether or not you are zoned properly is not a matter of official concern to them.   They do not care if there is a childcare center in an adjoining unit, with no proper fire barriers.  The official attitude is "Let the kids perish."  They don't care if you want to locate within 500 feet of a church and that doing so might upset the parishioners, who according to blue laws such as that, must be more tempted to demon rum than those who attend church more than 500 feet away.  The official position is "So be it; let those sinners descend into depravity."   Unless the laws of the state completely forbid anyone from engaging in the business you propose, i.e., the laws make it illegal to operate a distilled spirits plant, for example, in that state under any circumstances,  TTB has no legal basis for denying federal registration and permits on the grounds that your project would somehow offend local or state ordinances,  That TTB is officially callous is a good thing.  Would we really want a situation in which federal approval depended on a promise not to speed when making deliveries?

Official callousness is obviously, and properly, not true of the local fire marshall and others who enforce local codes.  No doubt, officious objections can cause real problems for you when there is no real problem with what you propose, but DSP's can also create real problems with which state and local codes must deal.  Generally, my advice is, "Do not worry about TTB.  We can work around most potential objections."  There is a brewery located in the same warehouse space? Okay, we'll put up a chain link fence and make sure a door to the proposed DSP opens into a public area, etc.  From the list someone posted above (and it is a good list, lifted straight from the regulations, which in turn lift it straight from the stature), the stumbling block can be a residence on the same tract of land.  However, that is not hopeless.  If you live in an area that will allow you to have a DSP on the residential property, and want to put a DSP in an outbuilding, do not ignore TTB in the early planning states.  Otherwise, think local first.

Thanks for the information. Speaking with the state, they are on a very similiar level as the TTB in that basically don't put the DSP in your house or a residential premise. Other than that it is up to the local municipality. We have reached out to the zoning board but have yet to get any word back.

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38 minutes ago, dhdunbar said:

the stumbling block can be a residence on the same tract of land.  However, that is not hopeless.  If you live in an area that will allow you to have a DSP on the residential property, and want to put a DSP in an outbuilding, do not ignore TTB in the early planning states.  Otherwise, think local first.

 It is my understanding that you can have a distillery on the same tract of land as a residence as long as the distillery has a different address than the residence.  For example:  John Smith owns 40 acres in an area with no zoning.  John has his residence, 3 rental houses and a distillery all on the same property, all with different addresses.  Do you think that John will have a problem?

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dhdunbar    35

Yes, no and maybe.  I hate giving that sort of answer, but sometimes it is necessary.  When I get  specific questions about specific circumstances, I am reluctant to answer without pursuing details.  Make that, I won't answer without pursuing details.  

When I get approval for collocation,  TTB states only that they make their decision on a case by case basis.  They do not provide go-by guidelines.  Where they don't, I cannot do so either.  They simply state that they have concluded that, in this instance, they would not recommend disapproval based solely on the location, since they have concluded that the residence is not connected to the DSP, as the term "connected" is used in 19.52 and the underlying statute.  They give the "would not recommend" answer because the person answering is not the deciding official on whether or not to approve and they do not want to appear to usurp that person's authority.

When I get to talk with someone about the specific facts, I ask a lot of questions and then suggest that, based on my experience, it is probable that TTB would allow or probable that it would not allow the person to have a DSP at the proposed location.  Your facts do not allow me to reach either conclusion.  

TTB does not express it this way, but the issue appears to be whether the proposed DSP would come within the curtilage of the residence.  Curtilage is a legal concept (I am not an attorney) with common law roots that got embedded into the constitution in the 4th amendment.   Curtilage is a reasonable expectation of privacy at a location within a yard, outbuilding, etc, associated with a residence, which the Supreme Court says results  from a number of factors, including, but not limited to, the proximity of the residence and the proposed DSP.  

Without more facts, I can't answer whether TTB might concludee that the curtilage of the above residences would likely extend to the DSP  [and in any case, I'm not in the business of giving legal advice; I just report on the results of my experience :-)]), or what mitigation TTB might expect, in terms of shared vs. separate entrances, fences,lease terms, etc.  

Confirmation bias being what it is, even with more facts, I don't want to tempt people to extrapolating from what I think TTB might say about one case to what it might say in another.    The best I can do here is state that, in 19.52, TTB has posted a no trespassing sign,  but that TTB will also allow trespassing, with its permission, in some but not all cases, and that I know that it does so because X times in the past I've gotten TTB to allow it after openly telling them all the facts.   

  

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indyspirits    31
1 hour ago, Southernhighlander said:

Do you think that John will have a problem?

John should simply hire a real estate attorney and carve off 5 acres for his distillery and sell it to the legal entity wanting to open said distillery.  Unless Im missing one of the dozens of mitigating factors.

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dhdunbar    35
34 minutes ago, indyspirits said:

John should simply hire a real estate attorney and carve off 5 acres for his distillery and sell it to the legal entity wanting to open said distillery.  Unless Im missing one of the dozens of mitigating factors.

This is always the simplest way to go, from the TTB angle.  I would not necessarily suggest that he sell the land to the legal entity wanting to open the distillery.  John's attorney might advise him to sell it to a separate entity, which will then lease the premises to the operating entity, to minimize the exposure of the property and improvements to loss in a suit brought against the operating entity for an alleged transgression by either the entity or its agent.  

Those are decisions best left to the attorney and accounts and made for business reasons, not for the sake of the TTB application.  But certainly, dividing the property is an option where division or other property line adjustments are  feasible under zoning and covenants, if any.  That is not always possible.  For example, our house sits on 5.84 acres.  The residence, yard, and outbuilding occupy, maybe, 1.5 acres, so I could just carve off four acres and build my distillery on that land.  But I can't.  Under current zoning, my 5.84 acre parcel should not exist.  With a few others, we are  four to six acre residential islands in what is otherwise zoned as 20 acre agricultural use.  Further, those of us who have built on the islands are prohibited, by covenant from dividing the property into smaller parcels.

But indyspirits is correct.  If John's attorney and account and zoning and covenants and the associated costs allow carving off 5 acres (or whatever is needed) for the distillery, that is a feasible and far simpler route.  When the residence is not located on the same tract of land, it could sit three feet from the distillery and not present a problem under 19.52. 

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What I actually have is 42 acres with my residence and 3 businesses already on the property.  I was going to add the distillery as a 4th business.  My house is at least 400 yards from the distillery and the structures for the other business's are between my house and the distillery.  To get a different address for the distillery I simply contact the post office and request a separate HCR Box address.  Here, out in the county, your mailing address is also your physical address.  Also, my place is considered a farm.

I would think that if the TTB had an issue with having your distillery on the same tract of land as your home, there would be no such thing as a farm distillery.

Indy Spirits, that's a great idea and I already thought of that, but there's no need to hire a real estate attorney.   All I need to do is come up with the correct property description and go to the title office with my current deed, get the title search done and have two separate deeds with 2 separate property descriptions made and registered at the court house.   It would cost around $500.00 to get all of the title work done, but I don't want to do that unless I have too, and that doesn't have anything to do with the money.   I chose to move here 22 years ago, because things like that are very easy  here, especially at the county level.  There are no building codes where I live, so there are no building inspections, nor are there any kind of building permits needed, nor are there any electrical inspections or plumbing inspections and we do just fine without all of that. Nobodies complaining, that's for sure.

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2 minutes ago, Southernhighlander said:

What I actually have is 42 acres with my residence and 3 businesses already on the property.  I was going to add the distillery as a 4th business.  My house is at least 400 yards from the distillery and the structures for the other business's are between my house and the distillery.  To get a different address for the distillery I simply contact the post office and request a separate HCR Box address.  Here, out in the county, your mailing address is also your physical address.  Also, my place is considered a farm.

I would think that if the TTB had an issue with having your distillery on the same tract of land as your home, there would be no such thing as a farm distillery.

Indy Spirits, that's a great idea and I already thought of that, but there's no need to hire a real estate attorney.   All I need to do is come up with the correct property description and go to the title office with my current deed, get the title search done and have two separate deeds with 2 separate property descriptions made and registered at the court house. .          It would cost around $500.00 to get all of the title work done but I don't want to do that unless I have too, and that doesn't have anything to do with the money.   I chose to move here 22 years ago, because things like that are very easy  here especially at the county level.  There are no building codes where I live, so there are no building inspections, nor are there any kind of building permits needed, nor are there any electrical inspections or plumbing inspections and we do just fine without all of that, nobodies complaining that's for sure.

It seems as though you have a perfect setup then for opening a distillery on the land. Definitely a lot easier than what I have been dealing with up here in NJ. Best of luck!

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NJ distiller,

Thank you and I understand.  I have customers in your area and there are certainly more hoops to jump through in NJ and NY than most places.

 

Best of luck to you as well.

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1 hour ago, dhdunbar said:

 

Those are decisions best left to the attorney and accounts and made for business reasons, not for the sake of the TTB application.  But certainly, dividing the property is an option where division or other property line adjustments are  feasible under zoning and covenants, if any.  That is not always possible.  For example, our house sits on 5.84 acres.  The residence, yard, and outbuilding occupy, maybe, 1.5 acres, so I could just carve off four acres and build my distillery on that land.  But I can't.  Under current zoning, my 5.84 acre parcel should not exist.  With a few others, we are  four to six acre residential islands in what is otherwise zoned as 20 acre agricultural use.  Further, those of us who have built on the islands are prohibited, by covenant from dividing the property into smaller parcels.

 

That really sucks.  I couldn't live like that.  There is no zoning here.  I can do whatever I like with my own land. I could buy the 3,600 acre property that borders me to the north and split it up, however I like. 

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dhdunder wrote

the stumbling block can be a residence on the same tract of land.

 

I think that you misinterpreted the below.  It does not say that you cannot put a distillery on the same tract of land as your house.  The meaning seems very simple and strait forward to me.  You cannot put a distillery at your residence which would mean your house, yard or shed in your yard.  It states no where that you cannot put your distillery on the same tract of land.  Sijnce the ground that my distillery is on is not in my yard then there will be no problem.  

"A person who intends to establish a distilled spirits plant may not locate it in any of the following places:"

"(a) In any residence, shed, yard, or enclosure connected to a residence;"

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Falling Rock    19

I have 80 acres. The property/building for the distillery is 200 yards from my house with road frontage on a State Hwy. Has it's own gated entrance to the road. The distillery is completely fenced, but with gates, from the other property. The fence seemed to be a key factor.

I got a new address for the distillery property. In most states, you get a new address from the 911 Emergency Service, not the post office.

Once I had the new address I leased the property from me to the distillery. Neither the TTB or the State ask any questions about the distillery being on my personal property even though the lease docs showed me leasing it to my own business.

State to State can be huge and in town, city, zoning seems to be the nightmare. As already stated, pick your location carefully.

As to getting the local stuff done first. My state would not allow me to tender an application until I had the Federal Permit in hand.

All the discrepancies make this a very hard business. Having 50,000 gallons of petrol under a gas station next to a hospital is easier because they do it every day.

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 Falling Rock

 

Here the Rural Route addresses and HCR addresses come from the post office.   The HCR stands for Highway Contract Route.  HCR postal carriers are the only non union postal carriers in the US.  HCR postal routes are ran by the lowest bidders in their own vehicles.  There aren't very many HCR routes left in the US.

 Mo is an odd state. No lawyer needed for land sales. The only state where home distilling is legal, One of the only states with no state law against public drunkenness, one of the only states with no state building codes and no state building inspections.  One of the few states where you can carry concealed with no permit.  Also it is a  state where you can shoot a home invader dead and may not even be taken in for questioning.  Here you automatically get a by the drink and carry out licence with your distillers permit and you can hold both a DSP and a wholesale-solicitors licence in MO which I think is the only state that allows that.  .

The only local person I will have to deal with is the fire Marshal who I have known and done business with for over 20 years.  My ethanol will be stored in a 3 sided shed with the open side having locked metal gates.  He said that he will look at it no different than the fuel tanks that I have on my property for my heavy equipment.

 We plan on building racking houses  into the side of the big hill that runs the length of our property.  When i had my wood producst business i exported logs and lumber from the local mills to customers all over Europe and Asia.  I can get the rough sawn lumber to side the racking houses for around 20 cents per brd foot and the beams for around 30 cents per bd ft, which is a huge help.  I will also be leasing my personal property to my Distillery LLC.  With the other businesses between it and my house. I don't see a problem.

You and your wife have been here and know how far out in the middle of no where I am.  30 minute drive to get gas and a 1 hour drive to go clothes shopping.  My wife and I really love it here though.  I'm glad that i have the kind of woman who doesn't mind that hour drive to go shopping. How's the equipment I sold you running?

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What I think is clear is that each TTB officer reviewing these DSP applications may process them differently.

My officer had a big problem with my DSP being located on the same property parcel as a residence. I had to show that the land was actually zoned agricultural, and not residential. I also had to install a fence to create a physical barrier between the DSP and the residence located 100 yards away. He sent me an email with an intention to deny my application because it was located on the same parcel as a residence prior to me showing him the supporting documents.

My experience may not be typical. But its a good idea to be fully over-prepared to respond to these sorts of demands if they come up. Better to have that preparation ready and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

 

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dhdunbar    35

Sothlander

11 hours ago, Southernhighlander said:

dhdunder wrote

the stumbling block can be a residence on the same tract of land.

 

I think that you misinterpreted the below.  It does not say that you cannot put a distillery on the same tract of land as your house.  The meaning seems very simple and strait forward to me.  You cannot put a distillery at your residence which would mean your house, yard or shed in your yard.  It states no where that you cannot put your distillery on the same tract of land.  Sijnce the ground that my distillery is on is not in my yard then there will be no problem.  

"A person who intends to establish a distilled spirits plant may not locate it in any of the following places:"

"(a) In any residence, shed, yard, or enclosure connected to a residence;"

Oh what tangled webs we weave.  I agree with you.  At its core, my arguments rest on the observation that a yard does not necessarily extend to the limits of the piece of property on which it sits.  I also agree that neither the statute or the regulation mention the phrase "tract of land." Indeed, my argument, on behalf of clients, is that  TTB should approve the application, in their case, because the protection afforded to the residence does not extend to the far reaches of the property, only the the "yard."  In legal terms, I argue that the the DSP, or perhaps more importantly, that the land surrounding the DSP, is not so intimately tied (that is the phrase used by the Supreme Court) to the residence  that the umbrella of protection (the court's wording again) afforded to the residence extends to the DSP.  My interpretation is your interpretation.  We agree.  

However, there is a problem with the notion of a meaning seeming straightforward to you and I.  TTB gets to decide what the statute means.  The courts give it wide deference to do so.  Einstein said that common sense reflects the prejudices we have at age 18.  TTB has held certain prejudices and as a result, its notion of of what constitutes the yard, for the purpose of the statute, may be different than yours or mine.  For example, in the last "Expo," which TTB presented in 2009, when it still had funds to hold such events, there was a PowerPoint slide stating:

“Connected with any Dwelling House”
• Examples:
– Land back behind the wood lot
– An outbuilding next to a farm residence
– An attached or detached garage on residential properly
– A commercial building with attached apartments or condominiums

The reference to "land behind the wood lot expresses" a prejudice that TTB, or at least its presenter, had in 2009.  TTB's common sense said, as late as 2009, that the prohibition extends to the land behind the wood lot.  I do not attend ADI conferences, but two years ago, a former TTB employee, who now consults for an attorney firm, witnessed a TTB specialist still arguing that the specialist would never approve an application where the DSP was located on property which also had a residence, and this in spite of the fact that such approvals had been granted.  TTB's Regulations and Rulings Branch has stated, in a private letter ruling, that  "TTB applies these provisions on a case-by-case basis in circumstances where a person seeks to establish a DSP on property that includes a residence in a separate structure.  When applying these provisions, TTB considers the distance between the residence and the DSP, whether any physical barriers separate the residence and the DSP, and any other relevant factors.

Of course, since TTB no longer visits the site prior to deciding whether to issue a permit, failure to disclose that the DSP is located 20 feet from a residence could result in TTB's approving the application.   A TTB employee visiting the site might even ignore the close proximity of the residence.  But TTB could come to object.  I advise people to act according to their own comfort with risk, since the law doesn't say that TTB will not approve an application  where the DSP is too intimately tied to a residence.  It says that the person making the application may not establish the DSP in a residence, etc...  The onus is on the applicant to comply and the disclosure of collocation is relevant and perhaps material information.  TTB gets to decide whether its material.  


 

 

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dhdunbar    35

Sothlander

11 hours ago, Southernhighlander said:

dhdunder wrote

the stumbling block can be a residence on the same tract of land.

 

I think that you misinterpreted the below.  It does not say that you cannot put a distillery on the same tract of land as your house.  The meaning seems very simple and strait forward to me.  You cannot put a distillery at your residence which would mean your house, yard or shed in your yard.  It states no where that you cannot put your distillery on the same tract of land.  Sijnce the ground that my distillery is on is not in my yard then there will be no problem.  

"A person who intends to establish a distilled spirits plant may not locate it in any of the following places:"

"(a) In any residence, shed, yard, or enclosure connected to a residence;"

Oh what tangled webs we weave.  I agree with you.  At its core, my arguments rest on the observation that a yard does not necessarily extend to the limits of the piece of property on which it sits.  I also agree that neither the statute or the regulation mention the phrase "tract of land." Indeed, my argument, on behalf of clients, is that  TTB should approve the application, in their case, because the protection afforded to the residence does not extend to the far reaches of the property, only the the "yard."  In legal terms, I argue that the the DSP, or perhaps more importantly, that the land surrounding the DSP, is not so intimately tied (that is the phrase used by the Supreme Court) to the residence  that the umbrella of protection (the court's wording again) afforded to the residence extends to the DSP.  My interpretation is your interpretation.  We agree.  

However, there is a problem with the notion of a meaning seeming straightforward to you and I.  TTB gets to decide what the statute means.  The courts give it wide deference to do so.  Einstein said that common sense reflects the prejudices we have at age 18.  TTB has held certain prejudices and as a result, its notion of of what constitutes the yard, for the purpose of the statute, may be different than yours or mine.  For example, in the last "Expo," which TTB presented in 2009, when it still had funds to hold such events, there was a PowerPoint slide stating:

“Connected with any Dwelling House”
• Examples:
– Land back behind the wood lot
– An outbuilding next to a farm residence
– An attached or detached garage on residential properly
– A commercial building with attached apartments or condominiums

The reference to "land behind the wood lot expresses" a prejudice that TTB, or at least its presenter, had in 2009.  TTB's common sense said, as late as 2009, that the prohibition extends to the land behind the wood lot.  I do not attend ADI conferences, but two years ago, a former TTB employee, who now consults for an attorney firm, witnessed a TTB specialist still arguing that the specialist would never approve an application where the DSP was located on property which also had a residence, and this in spite of the fact that such approvals had been granted.  TTB's Regulations and Rulings Branch has stated, in a private letter ruling, that  "TTB applies these provisions on a case-by-case basis in circumstances where a person seeks to establish a DSP on property that includes a residence in a separate structure.  When applying these provisions, TTB considers the distance between the residence and the DSP, whether any physical barriers separate the residence and the DSP, and any other relevant factors.

Of course, since TTB no longer visits the site prior to deciding whether to issue a permit, failure to disclose that the DSP is located 20 feet from a residence could result in TTB's approving the application.   A TTB employee visiting the site might even ignore the close proximity of the residence.  But TTB could come to object.  I advise people to act according to their own comfort with risk, since the law doesn't say that TTB will not approve an application  where the DSP is too intimately tied to a residence.  It says that the person making the application may not establish the DSP in a residence, etc...  The onus is on the applicant to comply and the disclosure of collocation is relevant and perhaps material information.  TTB gets to decide whether its material.  


 

 

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dhdunder wrote

"However, there is a problem with the notion of a meaning seeming straightforward to you and I.  TTB gets to decide what the statute means.  The courts give it wide deference to do so."

I understand where you are coming from.  We have sold a lot of electrically fired bain marie stills.  Electrical inspectors seem to have a wide range of interpretations of the NEC.  We build really good electrical systems with all UL listed components and we are always working to improve them  Out of the 130 bain Marie stillsthat we have out there 2 failed inspection the first time around.  For one of them I just sent the inspector an email answering some questions that he had and he passed the still on the 2nd inspection.  The 2nd just happened and we have to send the customer a different control panel.  Our enclosures are NEMA 4X so the panels must be liquid tight, and so we use over sized external heat sinks for the internal SSRs instead of cooling fans.  This inspector felt that the heat sinks would get hot and melt the fiberglass enclosure.  It did not matter to him that the heat sinks never get over 103°F and the melting point of the fiberglass is way higher than that.  So we are sending a UL listed contactor panel, that does not need heat sinks because it has a contactor instead of SSRs.  The electrical inspectors for the 128 or so other bain marie electric stills did not have a problem with the heat sinks or the enclosures.  This happened in Vermont were we have other stills just like that one except in different counties and they passed inspection just fine.  We are going to enameled steel NEMA4 enclosure on our electric Baine Marie stills that are going to difficult states in the north east and CA so that does not happen again.  

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