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Farm Distillery Building Codes


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I'm in the process of opening a distillery in Fairfax County, Virginia.  Today I attended a Zoning meeting discussing some zoning ordinance amendments designed to curtail farm wineries, breweries and distilleries.  A State Senator who had sponsored a Bill at the state level to clamp down on wineries spoke up.  One point he was trying to make was to imply the "danger" due to farm winders, distilleries and breweries not havign to meet building code.  Anyone know how true that is? Or whether there are other regulations such as TTB that drive health and safety in a licensed distillery?



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I see a distinct difference between ZONING and BUILDING Regulations/permits/inspections.

Zoning against wineries, breweries and distilleries would be a planning decision as to the land use, industrial or housing make up of the area.

Building regulations would be the design, permitting, construction and inspection of the facility.

My farm distillery will have to meet the same Building Codes and regulations as the lumber mill, grain farm, dairy farm or poultry operation in the area. They all use as much or more electric power, regulated chemicals, and pay insurance premiums based on their exposure.

There are reasons that rural, county, farm facilities may have less Building regulation and less expensive insurance costs.

Building regulations were intended to protect adjacent structures from damage due to an unsafe neighbor. And insurance cost are based on the exposure of the Insurer. If a farm distillery were to burn down, there is less chance of collateral damage.

We'll assume that no rational entrepreneur is going to take a short cut that might affect his business. We know it happens, and we know that you can't regulate stupidity.

I'm looking for statistics that show there are no more or less loss in a less regulated Building area. But my first example would be insurance costs. One of the basic drives behind farm wineries, breweries and distilleries is cheaper insurance costs.

Your State Senator has a prejudice against farm wineries, breweries and distilleries or he'd be talking about Building Codes, not Zoning.

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