Round Hill Amends Zoning to Attract More Food, Beverage Businesses

Following a vote in January to loosen town zoning regulations and allow residents to rent out their homes, the Town of Round Hill has again made some changes to entice prospective businesses.

The Town Council on Thursday unanimously approved zoning amendments to allow for restaurants, convenience stores, breweries, distilleries and wineries to open in the town’s business district by right. Town Administrator Melissa Hynes said the vote comes in response to the town’s lengthy permitting process, which takes up to nine months to approve special exception permits.

Carry-out and full-service restaurants without drive-throughs can now move into the business district by right, rather than as a special exception use.

Convenience stores and craft beverage establishments—like breweries, distilleries and wineries—are also now allowed to open in that district.

Under the regulations, a brewery is allowed to produce up to 500 barrels of beer in town, distilleries and wineries can to produce up to 5,000 gallons of liquor or wine. At least 25 percent of those beverages must be consumed or sold on site.

Breweries, distilleries and wineries can also have tasting rooms or retail spaces to sell their beverages and packaged or ready-to-eat food items, like sandwiches and crackers. Any food preparation that requires more than cutting, slicing or sandwich assembly would force the business to register as a restaurant.

Restaurants and craft beverage establishments are allowed to operate between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. from Sunday to Thursday and 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Restaurants located adjacent to residential properties are restricted to operating between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. daily.

Restaurants and craft beverage establishments can also contract with food trucks, but must follow a list of regulations that include rules governing operating hours and parking lot sizes.

While Mayor Scott Ramsey said the amendments would catch the town up with others that already allow restaurants to open in their business districts by right, Town Administrator Melissa Hynes said that Round Hill’s zoning is still more conservative than that of other towns.

pszabo@loudounnow.com

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