On Thursday, January 16, MACo policy associate Alex Butler testified before the Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee in support of SB 118 Land Use – Alcohol Production and Agricultural Alcohol Production.
This bill, initiated by the Maryland Department of Agriculture, would create a model definition of alcohol production and agricultural alcohol production for use in land use codes. The bill does not require adoption of the definition by counties, but instead serves as a guide for those wishing to incorporate the language into their existing code.
From the MACo Testimony:
This bill creates a single “alcohol production” definition that could help counties in streamlining new regulations. Several counties refer to “wineries” in their land use code but omit other production types such as distilleries. Previously, MACo has supported certain model definitions because they can be a useful resource for counties.
Counties appreciate the direction and spirit of this legislation – creating a model to serve as a best practice, rather than a top-down mandate requiring local compliance. The presence of a State-adopted model could promote uniformity across jurisdictions, but not at the expense of the local latitude to respond to specific issues or concerns locally.
For more on 2020 MACo legislation, visit the Legislative Database.