Today we submitted our Conditional Use Permit (CUP) application with the City of Torrance. This is probably our first milestone in moving forward from a dream to a reality.
The CUP application is for a tasting room -- for patrons to visit the brewery and taste our beers. A brewery is listed as a permitted use for the zoning of the property we will be leasing, but a CUP is needed for having on-premise retail sales.
The City of Torrance's planning dept. has been very helpful. I have learned that having prelimiary dialogue about your project and goals with the planning dept of the City in which you are interested is important. Prior to Torrance, I dealt with other cities' planning dept later on in the process and it was not that helpful. I could have saved time if I talked to them early on. By having early communication you can gauge the City's interest in supporting your business and also to know what could work or not -- regardless of how you might interpret the municipal code or think it will work in your favor. In addition, whether your proposed use is permitted or not in the Code, you can talk to the City's people and find out if they would be supportive of such a project.