How Charlottesville, VA used zoning laws to prevent a brewery from opening up

Scott Beyer recounts in Forbes how Albemarle County near Charlottesville refused to amend its zoning code to allow light industrial usage for a planned Deschutes Brewery expansion (Deschutes is headquartered in Oregon):

"The controversy began in May, when staff for Albemarle County, which surrounds Charlottesville, requested land use amendments for a plot just outside the city boundary. As local blog Charlottesville Tomorrow later reported, this was to accommodate construction of a new facility for Deschutes, a brewery from Bend, Oregon that is perhaps best known for its smooth and delicious Black Butte Porter. Deschutes is the nation’s 7th-largest craft brewer, and 12th-largest overall, shipping to 28 states. But it sells lightly on the East Coast, and wanted to open an additional base in that region for expansion. The company was seeking a city that, like Bend, has a progressive vibe and nice natural amenities, and had narrowed their search down from dozens of locations to just several—Asheville, NC; Charleston, SC; Greenville, SC; and Charlottesville.

So a plan was presented to the Albemarle Board of Supervisors to open a brewery and sampling center on 233 acres. It would employ 100 people directly, and bring further economic activity to Charlottesville's vibrant bar scene...

[T]he ultimate grievance was over a technicality—the land was not part of the county's 'growth area,' and would need to be rezoned for light industrial. Staff requested this for 83 acres of the property, while much of the rest would remain preserved, but in a unanimous vote, the board said they would rezone only 51 acres. Deschutes wasn’t satisfied with this, and wasn't willing to locate elsewhere in Albemarle, because it liked this plot's proximity to the interstate. So the deal fell through, and Deschutes is considering other options, including possibly locating in Roanoke, VA, just two hours away..."

Read the rest here: