Controversial microbrewery gets green light from Wilmington city leaders

Controversial microbrewery gets green light from Wilmington city leaders
The rezoning request would allow a new microbrewery and tap room on Randall Parkway. (Source: City of Wilmington)

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The debate over a proposed microbrewery and tap room came to a head Tuesday night when Wilmington City Council members gave the green light for developers to move forward.

Council approved a rezoning request to allow the brewery at 3130 Randall Parkway.

Some neighbors have contested plans for the brewery saying it would create too much noise, traffic and environmental damage.

The co-owners of Flying Machine Brewing Company presented updates to the original site plan they hoped would satisfy neighbors.

The changes included reducing the number of seats from 216 to 173, eliminating any live music or entertainment outside, and taking new measures to reduce noise from the building.

A total of 19 people spoke about the proposal during the public hearing portion of the city council meeting.

It was split between those in favor and against the proposal.

Ultimately, council approved the rezoning 6-1. Council member Kevin O'Grady was the only member to vote against it.

While some neighbors said they were happy to see the plans move forward, others were disappointed with the decision.

"We've put 75 years worth of toil and raising families and paying taxes especially," Rusty Holt, neighbor, said. "To disregard that makes absolutely no sense. You've got change and you've got progress. I don't consider this progress."

The owners said they were happy with the decision and believe the brewery will become an asset to the nearby neighborhood.

Co-owner Grant Steadman said working with neighbors and making changes was important.

"Just because we received approval from the council tonight, that does not mean our communication with the neighbors is going to stop," Steadman said. "That's going to be an ongoing process throughout construction and after. We want our neighbors to be our customers, and those that don't wish to be our customers, we want to make sure we're the best neighbors we can be regardless."

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