National City adopts 'craft beer ordinance' to attract breweries

Posted at 2:49 PM, Dec 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-20 18:04:46-05

NATIONAL CITY, Calif. (KGTV) - National City Council leaders unanimously approved an ordinance Tuesday to attract breweries and tasting rooms to the South Bay.

The city's "craft beer ordinance" amends the city's code to permit small breweries and tasting rooms by-right in mixed-use and industrial zones.

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Previously, breweries had to seek a conditional use permit that would reportedly tack on several months of construction and expenses to projects.

Jorge Molina, the owner of Embarcadero Brewing Company, said the permit process was "intense" and "expensive."

"Allowing breweries by-right in industrial and mixed-use zones will save small businesses like ours thousands of dollars and several hours for both entrepreneurs and city planning staff,” Molina said in a release.

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The city said other areas in the county with similar demographics have seen positive impacts from vibrant mico-brewery scenes - pointing to economic impacts from breweries in Chula Vista and further north in Vista.

In a release, National City councilmember Alejandra Sotelo-Solis said:

“The passage of a new craft beer ordinance is a huge victory for National City and the South Bay craft beer movement ... It’s a matter of continuing to build a city that attracts the creative energy and optimism of young professionals and lets them know they have an important stake in the city’s future."

The craft beer industry has been accredited with a more than 400 percent increase in jobs in San Diego from 2010 to 2016, according to the city. Officials said the policy change reflects National City as an affordable and increasingly attractive location for millennials and young entrepreneurs.

According to a Cushman and Wakefield study, San Diego has more operating breweries than any other region in the U.S.