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My County now allowing 'Farm Breweries'

What a dream this would be. I do have some hop plants growing on my property but it’s only a half acre HA! How can I trick my county into saying my lot is designated farmland?

From the county website:

[b]11. Farm
Property receiving agricultural use assessment from the
Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation.

  1. Farm Brewery
    An establishment for the manufacture of malt liquors,
    such as beer and ale, using grains such as oats, hops,
    wheat and barley produced on the farm on which the
    farm brewery is located.

  2. The brewery shall be designed and managed to brew no more than 15,000
    barrels of beer per year; and

  3. at least one of the primary ingredients shall be produced on the farm
    where the brewery is located; and

  4. sampling and the sale for on- and off-site consumption of the breweries
    products shall be permitted in accordance with State and County alcohol
    laws and regulations; and

  5. events allowed on farms (e.g., Section 3-1.01, Use #10, Public
    Events/Public Assemblies on Farmland, and Use #11, Rental Facilities on
    Farms) shall be permitted on the site of the brewery in accordance with
    requirements of this Ordinance and with State and County alcohol law
    and regulations; and

  6. the brewery shall be operated in accordance with all local, state, and
    federal laws; and

  7. the use shall not be permitted on a lot or open space within a subdivision
    defined as a parcel of land under which there is a governance structure and
    regulations (i.e., a homeowners’ association and recorded covenants); and

  8. retail sales of items may be permitted subject to the following additional
    conditions :
    a. the items sold are primarily associated with the farm brewery or are locally produced goods which would be permitted to be sold at an Artisan’s and Crafter’s Market or Farmers’ Market, as defined by this ordinaces; and
    b. the retails sales are conducted within the brewery or an accessory structure; and
    c. in no case shall the area designated for the retail sales exceed 20 percent of all brewery buildings combined[/b]

I would think that you all you have is a farm. If Maryland is anything like Massachusetts, then the property probably has to be zoned as agriculture for it to be considered a farm or a farm brewery. I’m assuming your zoned residential.

Looks like all you have to worry about is #6.

The bit about agricultural use assessment
http://www.dat.state.md.us/sdatweb/aguse.html
looks like it might be the real hurdle.

[quote]The law is specific regarding those instances when the agricultural use assessment cannot be granted. For example, regardless of the agricultural activity, the land used for a homesite on the farm is not eligible. . . Unless obviously larger in size, the homesite is deemed to be one acre. . .

The law also prevents granting the use assessment to relatively small parcels of land. For example, in the case of farmland, no parcel under three acres in size is eligible unless one of the following conditions are met. . .[/quote]

The three conditions are that it can be adjacent to another piece of farmland that you own, it can be responsible for more than half of your income, or you’ve got a family farm subdivided into smaller parcels so that they can technically be owned by immediate family members.

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