Neighboring property owners don't want micro-brewery - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Neighboring property owners don't want micro-brewery

Dr. Tripp Morgan Dr. Tripp Morgan
Attorney T. Gamble Attorney T. Gamble
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

A Dougherty County landowner receives the recommendation from the Planning Commission to re-zone agriculture property, so a micro-brewery can be built.

The Planning Commission voted 6 to 1 to recommend the agriculture zoned property be changed to Commercial 3. But other property owners in the area are opposed, saying the rezoning will hurt their farming operations.

Morgan III Properties of Albany wants to build the three million dollar micro brewery development on 29 acres. Dr. Tripp Morgan says his group plans to grow their own certified organic ingredients that will be used to brew their beer. "Should be huge for the local economy. Taxes. 20 plus jobs for the area. Millions of dollars in economic development for the next five years."

Morgan's group is working with other developers already operating micro breweries in Athens and Tennessee, so they feel they have the expertise to make their dream project come true.

But Pine Knoll Plantation owners have hired attorney's to let government officials know they are opposed to the re-zoning.

Attorney T. Gamble said "You open the door to a commercial operation right in the middle of not only their operation but two or three other big plantations, now you've changed the name of that area."

Morgan says that land was home to a lumber company for years, so this eco-tourism business will not be the first time the land is used for a commercial operation. But opponents say bringing in frequent visitors will make them change their normal farm operations.

Gamble said "They have to spray it, they have to control burns."

Morgan said his group wants to be good neighbors, and are confident the re-zoning will be granted, and their development will start soon.

Morgan said "We hope to brew our first barrel of beer before the New Year starts. So we'll see."

The developers plan to start their initial production 20 barrels of beer every two weeks, and increasing production with demand. Gamble said several other plantation owners will join Pine Knoll's to voice their opposition to commissioners. The Dougherty County Commission is scheduled to hear discussion on the micro brewery development at their May 18th morning meeting.

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