DUANESBURG — The town has adopted a zoning law intended to promote new farm breweries, cideries and other agriculture-based businesses that could bring visitors to town.
It’s part of an effort to both keep the town of 6,100 at the western end of Schenectady County rural and still encourage new small businesses, said Town Supervisor Roger Tidball. Under the new law, farm-based businesses that can attract visitors will be allowed in the agricultural-residential, commercial and light manufacturing zones — most of the town’s land area.
The law adopted in August by the Town Board allows small-scale breweries, cideries, wineries and distilleries to open in the town through a special permit system, meaning they can open as long as they receive approval for their plans from the town Planning Board.
“You see this more and more in small towns, people wanting to open things like breweries and cideries,” Tidball said.
The town has been home to Helderberg Meadworks since 2012, and other farm-based companies are looking at locating in Duanesburg. The zoning change was prompted because new owners are in the process of renovating an 1800s barn on Route 20 near Delanson with the goal of establishing a farm brewery there, once zoning approval is in place.
The state, under initiatives from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, has strongly endorsed the agri-tourism concept, including farm-based breweries and wineries as more traditional forms of agriculture have struggled, with much farmland being converted to other uses.
Helderberg Meadworks owner Peter Voelker said he’s working on plans for a tasting room on Route 30, and be…
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