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Avondale Estates City Commission to consider farm winery, administrative fee ordinances

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Avondale Estates City Commission to consider farm winery, administrative fee ordinances

Avondale Estates City Manager Patrick Bryant (far left) presented three options for the city's sanitation program to the city commission during a work session on Wednesday, April 26, at City Hall. Photo by Zoe Seiler.

Avondale Estates, GA — The Avondale Estates City Commission will meet on Wednesday, May 24, at 5:30 p.m. for a regular meeting, followed by a work session. The city commission meeting will be held at Avondale Estates City Hall, 21 N. Avondale Plaza, and via Zoom.

During the regular meeting, the city commission will hold the first reading of an administrative fee ordinance and a farm winery ordinance. 

To join the meeting via Zoom, click here. To call in, dial +1-301-715-8592. The webinar ID is 870 7622 5550.

To view the meeting agenda, click here.

Public comments can be made either by attending the meeting in-person or through Zoom.

The city commission typically holds two readings of an ordinance before voting on it. The board, however, could vote on an ordinance during the first reading if the board unanimously agrees to take a vote.

For a business to operate as a farm winery and a tasting room, it has to obtain federal, state, and local licenses. Currently, the city of Avondale Estates does not have a provision in its alcohol ordinance that would allow for a farm winery or tasting room.

Businesses can currently manufacture and sell beer and spirits according to the city’s alcohol ordinance.

“Wild Heaven approached us to say they are going through the process to obtain the permitting and licensing necessary to do this because they want to offer wine as a product at their brewery,” City Manager Patrick Bryant previously said. “The brewery would doubly function as a farm winery tasting room.”

The city commission is also considering an administrative fee ordinance to allow the city manager to establish and update the fees regularly. The city charges fees for various permits, licenses, and other administrative tasks. The city has not updated its fees in several years.

Currently, those fees are set by multiple ordinances, and the city didn’t have a mechanism to update the fees regularly.

“The impetus behind an administrative fee is that you are charging the applicant for the time spend by city staff to perform that work, so you’re recovering the cost incurred by the city through that fee,” Bryant said.

During the work session, the commission will discuss the land disturbance process.

“The land disturbance regulations need to be updated to clarify the code and address flooding on neighboring properties and the city’s infrastructure that results from new construction,” the agenda states.

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