Q: Why did the city ever prohibit microbreweries in the downtown area?
— Larry Miller
A: Breweries have been historically permitted in the industrially zoned areas of Bakersfield because this type of operation typically produces odors, traffic and increased sewer run-off, which are not usually compatible with more sensitive land uses, like residential and commercial uses.
However, with the recent popularity of microbreweries, the city has been exploring ways to allow them in the downtown area, which is mostly zoned for commercial uses. There are a lot of factors to consider when permitting these, in order to make sure the use is compatible with the mixed-use development that we see growing downtown. We presented our research to City Council committee last week, and got the green light to put together an ordinance which would allow microbreweries in the downtown area in the future. The next steps will be for staff to put together a draft ordinance, then bring it back to City Council committee for review.
— Jacquelyn Kitchen, Community Development Director for the City of Bakersfield