Jonesborough officials grant conditional outdoor alcohol permit to Tennessee Hills Distillery, update standards for whole town

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JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. (WJHL) – After tensions flared in the oldest town’s chamber halls, the Jonesborough Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted to grant a conditional outdoor use permit to Tennessee Hills Distillery on Thursday.

A memorandum drafted by town attorney Jim Wheeler offered a compilation of concerns for both town residents and members of the board after discussion over the past week.

Scott Andrew of Rugged American Spirits/Tennessee Hills Distillery told News Channel 11 that he met with city officials for nearly three hours to address the town’s concerns, and left with a compromise on what can and cannot be done on the property.

The memorandum recommended four changes to town outdoor use permits:

  1. Permits will now expire on March 1 each year, with permit holders reapplying each January.
  2. Outdoor use applicants are required to use Alcoholic Beverage Commission (ABC) licensed servers.
  3. Outdoor permit holders are required to close and empty outdoor areas no later than 10:00 p.m. with signage stating the area is off-limits.
  4. The Town of Jonesborough will conduct reviews of ABC server licenses to ensure compliance.

In addition to the new stipulations set out by the board, Tennessee Hills Distillery will have their own specific requirements:

  1. Rear doors of the Salt House building must be closed when amplified music is played, and only acoustic music is allowed when open.
  2. The rear door must be closed at 10:00 p.m. and music that can be heard outside must end at 10:00 p.m. as well.
  3. Tennessee Hills staff will monitor outdoor patrons to prevent safety hazards or disturbances of the peace.
  4. Tennessee Hills Distillery will agree to comply with building codes and other town ordinances at all times.

Board members discussed the need to find compromise within municipal politics without harsh rhetoric or personal attacks. Alderman Terry Countermine extended an olive branch in the form of a request for further road safety measures in front of the business.

Alderman Adam Dickson cast the sole vote against the measure, citing his longtime opposition to alcohol with in the town.

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