Distillery site approved for Gatlinburg

May. 20, 2013 @ 11:39 PM

At its meeting last week, the Gatlinburg Municipal and Regional Planning Commission approved a commercial site plan for Sugarlands Distilling Company. If it opens this fall as proposed, it will be the city's third distillery.

A few minor issues were addressed at Thursday's meeting, such as a 40-foot curb cut from Maples Lane that needs to be reduced to 26 feet in order to meet code and control access, City Planner David Ball said.

The flooring area must also be resubmitted prior to issuing the permit, and a fire lane needs to be added to the plan and coordinated with the fire department.

The distillery, planned by developer Ned Vickers, was originally denied by Gatlinburg's City Commission. The proposed new business violated an ordinance requiring at least 1,000 feet between distilleries.

The city's goal with the ordinance was to prevent a concentration of stores selling liquor by the drink.

However, a new state law signed last week by Gov. Bill Haslam overrides the commission's authority on the issue. The law will allow distilleries with state and federal permits to open despite local government regulations.

House Bill 102 was sponsored in the House by state Rep. Joe Carr, R-Lascassas, and in the Senate by Sen. Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro.

In other action, the commission approved:

  • The development of a minor subdivision on Oakwood Drive and Long Hollow Road, contingent upon the receipt of the county's paperwork addressing a right of way issue, as requested by surveyor Steve Hurlbut
  • The development of a subdivision to be located on Gatlin drive, requested by Citizen's National Bank

n jfrye@themountainpress.com