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Northport proposes microbrewery regulations 

Village officials said the new zoning code will address issues such as the effects breweries have on the sewer system, and fumes and odors from the premises.

Jim Clark, attorney for Sand City Brewing Co.,

Jim Clark, attorney for Sand City Brewing Co., and the company's owner Kevin Sihler meet with the Northport Village zoning board on March 28. Photo Credit: Raychel Brightman

The Village of Northport board on Tuesday set a public hearing to discuss a proposal to regulate the establishment and operation of craft-beer breweries.

Officials said the law would add a chapter to the zoning code with specific rules for breweries, making it the first microbrewery code on Long Island.

The proposal addresses the strains that breweries create on the village’s sewer system, Trustee Ian Milligan said. The board recently became aware of the effects breweries have on sewage after the opening of Northport’s first microbrewery in 2015, Sand City Brewing Co. The yeast-filled waste produced by the brewery has altered the breakdown of human waste in the water plant, making it more expensive for the village to process waste, he said.

“We’re not looking to hurt any businesses, we’re looking to protect the taxpayers,” Mayor Damon McMullen said.

Under the new law, breweries would need to install an equalization tank to effectively reduce the impacts of waste production and pay a surcharge to cover the excess cost for the sewage treatment facility to dispose of solid and liquid waste. The law would also give the village the right to inspect any treatment facilities and obtain waste samples to prevent excess waste production.

In addition, breweries would need to ensure any tasting and retail is conducted indoors and that no “noxious” fumes or odors escape from the premises.

Board members have worked with officials and engineers from other communities who have more experience with brewery management to come up with the proposal.

Milligan said it would ultimately benefit the breweries, since the proposal would help them with current zoning restrictions.

“We’ve worked hard to come up with a proposal we think is fair,” Milligan said.

The hearing is set for July 17 at 6:30 p.m. 

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