The Regional Planning Agency is recommending approval for a zoning change to allow Chattanooga Whiskey Company to operate a downtown distillery.
The RPA staff said, "The applicant is proposing to redevelop a prominent downtown structure into a mix of uses that will serve to animate the street, and provide new and unique amenities to the urban core. Since the proposal is consistent with the Downtown Plan, is an extension of an existing zone, and would provide one zoning designation for the entire property, staff recommends approval of the request to rezone the remaining portion of the applicant’s property to C-3 Central Business District."
It will be the first Chattanooga distillery since Prohibition days, though the city has a number of mini-breweries.
The Legislature had to pass enabling legislation to make it possible.
The .34-acre site is currently split-zoned. The northern part of the property (.21 acres) is zoned C-3 Central Business District, the southern portion of the property (.13 acres) is zoned M-1 Manufacturing.
The zoning request says the applicants are requesting to zone .13 acres of their property from M-1
Manufacturing to C-3 Central Business District, "for the purposes of a small-scale whiskey distillery and restaurant. The applicant intends to offer tours of the facility and whiskey tasting."
The site is the old four-story John Ross Building that fronts on Market Street and runs back to Broad.
Tim Piersant and Joe Ledbetter head the Chattanooga Whiskey Company, and former city official Andrew Kean has joined the group.
The zoning case comes before the Planning Commission next Monday at 1 p.m.
The Planning Commission is also taking up a "Resolution to Amend the Chattanooga City Code, Chapter 38 Zoning Ordinance, to Add Distilleries as an Allowable Use Under Special Exceptions Permit Requirements in the C-2 Convenience Commercial Zone, C-3 Central Business Zone, UGC Urban General Commercial Zone and the M-1 Manufacturing Zone."