By Jill Fox
The dream of opening their own craft brewery could be a little farther away for a Parkland couple.
Ralph and Veronica Rapa plan to open Rule G Brewing Company within walking distance of their home in Parkland Terraces in October. Unfortunately, they currently have no way to apply for city permitting for their pub.
The code reads that if a category of business is not permitted, it’s prohibited.
After an extensive discussion at the June 16 commission meeting, members voted unanimously to table the ordinance to alter the land development code, which would have given the Rapas the ability to submit their business plan for the craft brewery.
The amended ordinance stated that if a business wants to move forward as a full-service restaurant, which is a permitted use, it can apply for consideration of a secondary use, provided that that use is not explicitly prohibited in the code.
“We need to make sure that we are as prepared as possible as a city to make sure whatever businesses we have come in here are businesses that we want or that fit what Parkland desires,” said Mayor Rich Walker, explaining that the current mechanism exists for a potential business to come to city staff and flesh out a concept and go through that process.
Commissioner Simeon Brier expressed apprehension about the changes in the ordinance and how it could potentially take power away from the commission.
“My concern is this whittles away our authority to get into Parkland the businesses that we want and keep out of Parkland the businesses that we don’t,” he said.
The Rapas, hoping to have their craft brewery up and running by Oktoberfest, have been actively fundraising for their establishment on social media, saying their equipment is scheduled to arrive in September.
“We’re looking to change the rules for a business that is not even here,” said Brier. “We need to be pro-business for the businesses that already are.”
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- Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She has worked in public relations and television for over 20 years. Fox lives in Parkland with her husband and their two children.
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