P&Z Commission denies zoning request for brewery


By Rachel Madison

A request to rezone a section of Liberty Hill for construction of a brewery was denied by the Planning & Zoning Commission at their Dec. 7 meeting.

The commission unanimously opposed sending a recommendation to City Council regarding a zone map amendment from general commercial/retail (C3) to light industrial/warehousing for a brewery and tap room at 15390 State Hwy. 29. Commissioner Chris Cormack said he didn’t feel comfortable changing the zoning for the brewery, which would be the second location for Whitestone Brewery based in Cedar Park, because it doesn’t track with the rest of Liberty Hill zoning.

“We keep having these piecemeal requests for rezoning classifications,” he said. “Our comprehensive plan is seven years old. When I look at the future land use map, it’s not really that compatible with the comp plan, in my opinion, to have light industrial in this area. I do find it a little bit odd that there are breweries all over the place that aren’t light industrial.”

Cormack used the example of Hell or Highwater in downtown Liberty Hill, which is not zoned for light industrial/warehousing but brews beer on site. Commissioner Steve Messana said he finds it hard to believe that leaving the zoning as C3 doesn’t allow for the brewing of beer, because he sees it happening all over the region.

“I don’t want to see full blown industrial [in this area of Liberty Hill],” he said. “If we allow this change to the zoning, that’s a possibility in the future. I just have a hard time supporting that.”

Commissioner Diane Williams added that if the City doesn’t have an ordinance that allows for a brewery to be built in C3—even though there is an example of one in downtown Liberty Hill in the form of Hell or Highwater—that it would only be fair that the ordinance is updated. The commission directed city staff to work on this update.

Also at the meeting, the commission unanimously approved the final plat for 10.6 acres of commercial property at Stonewall Ranch, at the intersection of State Highway 29 and Stonewall Parkway. A total of nine commercial lots are located on that property.

Lastly, the commission voted to recommend a short list of three applicants for the final vacant position on the board to the City Council. The three applicants they recommended were Brian Rivera, Ashley Foster, and Ryan Todd. The applicants will be invited to speak to City Council at an upcoming meeting.

The next meeting of the P&Z commission will be Dec. 21 at 6:30 p.m.