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permitting questions

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  • chris jude
    Not sure that this is the right forum for this, but if anyone has any $.02 to throw in, or links to follow up on that d be great. I am working on the
    Message 1 of 6 , Apr 3, 2013
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      Not sure that this is the right forum for this, but if anyone has any $.02 to throw in, or links to follow up on that'd be great.
      I am working on the permitting and design/build and then operation of a new distillery in an existing building.  I'm looking for information on the need or any code references regarding sprinklers in a facility operating a still and storing liquor for aging in casks. 
      Also, what the experience has been with folks in the US on complying with FDA inspections/permitting. 

      Thanks,
      Chris

    • Al N6TEZ
      Chris, Not sure were your located, but suggest you contact you local Building Dept and request a Certificate of Occupancy Inspection . You may have to pay for
      Message 2 of 6 , Apr 4, 2013
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        Chris,
        Not sure were your located, but suggest you contact you local Building Dept and request a "Certificate of Occupancy Inspection".
        You may have to pay for this, but well worth it because you should get the minimum requirements in writing to determine if the required upgrades(if any)are feasiable (within your budget) or if you should look for another location.
        Your municipality's adopted building code( usually the Uniform Building Code which can be ammended for special local conditions) will detirmine the "hazard" of your "occupancy" and the minimum requirements for your structure and occupancy to comply.
        Hope you get a kind inspector who will give you a free pre-inspection before you spend money (I would have ).
        Good luck and please let us know how this works out for you.
        A Retired Building Official, Al, N6TEZ


        --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, chris jude <vegbenz300@...> wrote:
        >
        > Not sure that this is the right forum for this, but if anyone has any $.02
        > to throw in, or links to follow up on that'd be great.
        > I am working on the permitting and design/build and then operation of a new
        > distillery in an existing building. I'm looking for information on the
        > need or any code references regarding sprinklers in a facility operating a
        > still and storing liquor for aging in casks.
        > Also, what the experience has been with folks in the US on complying with
        > FDA inspections/permitting.
        >
        > Thanks,
        > Chris
        >
      • Al N6TEZ
        POSTSCRIPT: Fire Sprinkler requirement could be based on several factors such as; the fire resistance of exterior walls, the sq. footage of the building, the
        Message 3 of 6 , Apr 5, 2013
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          POSTSCRIPT: Fire Sprinkler requirement could be based on several factors such as;
          the fire resistance of exterior walls, the sq. footage of the building, the size of yards (ie proximity to other structures and property lines), containment, amounts processed and stored, which "H" occupancy you fall into, the attitude of the Buiding Official. Also Planning Dept zoning could be an issue.
          In any case try to work with your Building Inspectors (Build,Plumb, Elec & Mech), Building Dept Plan Checkers, Fire Dept Plan Checker, Planning Dept Plan Checker etc. You will get more done by being polite (ask for there help !).
          BUT, also ask for the code sections for any requirements, then read them them yourself. Code law is enforcable, but dept policy is not.
          Don't be afraid to go "over a persons head" if you feel something is not right. Discuss it with the Senior Inspectors, Engineer, Building Offical, Dept Head, all the way up to the elected offical (county supervisor, city councilman etc.). Hope that is not necessary, but it is an option.
          Al

          >
          > Chris,
          > Not sure were your located, but suggest you contact you local Building Dept and request a "Certificate of Occupancy Inspection".
          > You may have to pay for this, but well worth it because you should get the minimum requirements in writing to determine if the required upgrades(if any)are feasiable (within your budget) or if you should look for another location.
          > Your municipality's adopted building code( usually the Uniform Building Code which can be ammended for special local conditions) will detirmine the "hazard" of your "occupancy" and the minimum requirements for your structure and occupancy to comply.
          > Hope you get a kind inspector who will give you a free pre-inspection before you spend money (I would have ).
          > Good luck and please let us know how this works out for you.
          > A Retired Building Official, Al, N6TEZ
          >
          >
          > --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, chris jude <vegbenz300@> wrote:
          > >
          > > Not sure that this is the right forum for this, but if anyone has any $.02
          > > to throw in, or links to follow up on that'd be great.
          > > I am working on the permitting and design/build and then operation of a new
          > > distillery in an existing building. I'm looking for information on the
          > > need or any code references regarding sprinklers in a facility operating a
          > > still and storing liquor for aging in casks.
          > > Also, what the experience has been with folks in the US on complying with
          > > FDA inspections/permitting.
          > >
          > > Thanks,
          > > Chris
          > >
          >
        • ballard_bootlegger
          Hi Chris- You ve got a fun couple months in front of you. If I could give one piece of useful advice it would be to hire an attorney. The shocking amount of
          Message 4 of 6 , Apr 7, 2013
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            Hi Chris- You've got a fun couple months in front of you. If I could give one piece of useful advice it would be to hire an attorney. The shocking amount of detail and paperwork between the federal and state licensing application process is easy to get bogged down in.
            As far as your building and location requirements it's really more of a local/state issue than a federal one. Sprinklers are not required federally. Here in Seattle the fire department can require sprinklers if you are storing bulk spirits in anything that is not made of wood or the bottle, but they might not... This loophole ridden rule is a good example of the convoluted permitting process that is best combed through by a professional comber.
            When looking for your distillery space I would recommend going as industrial as possible. Local and state municipalities will fight you less if you're not near a residential area. It's important to understand that most cities and states don't know much about distilling and may have a misconception about the viability and safety of your operation. Try to find a building that was previously used for something heavy like metal working or anything extra loud or disruptive to the environment. It's an easy choice for the powers that be to allow a use that is less impactful than that of previous occupants. What else... Oh, money. Make sure you have lots of money. You can count on paying your rent for at least six months before you can distill a drop of that sweet sweet legal nectar. All equipment must be in place and inspected before permits will be issued. Rent, equipment, branding (labels, etc.), legal fees, and time really start to add up when all must be in place before any sales can occur.
            There are so many things I wish I knew going into this, if you ever have any specific licensing questions feel free to send me a message or post here and I'll try to give you my $.02.
            Good luck and have fun!

            Drink well,
            Whitney.

            --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, chris jude <vegbenz300@...> wrote:
            >
            > Not sure that this is the right forum for this, but if anyone has any $.02
            > to throw in, or links to follow up on that'd be great.
            > I am working on the permitting and design/build and then operation of a new
            > distillery in an existing building. I'm looking for information on the
            > need or any code references regarding sprinklers in a facility operating a
            > still and storing liquor for aging in casks.
            > Also, what the experience has been with folks in the US on complying with
            > FDA inspections/permitting.
            >
            > Thanks,
            > Chris
            >
          • chris jude
            Thanks for that response. Thankfully we do have an attorney, and a winemaker on board. Our location is in fact a former aluminum working plant, right next to
            Message 5 of 6 , Apr 8, 2013
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              Thanks for that response.
              Thankfully we do have an attorney, and a winemaker on board.  Our location is in fact a former aluminum working plant, right next to a biodiesel facility.  One foot thick concrete walls and metal blast ceiling.  Hoping to have product out in a years time.
              With the fire Marshall and storing in casks (IFC 3401.2-8), I have heard that there is a height limit of 6 feet for that exemption, is that something folks have encountered?
              We're trying to avoid sprinklering if possible, all alcohol will either be 'in process' or stored in casks (could we also call that in-process?).
              I'm working mostly on equipment and fire/fda approval, while the lawyer and winemaker are dealing with TTB for now.
              The clock is ticking...

              Chris


              On Sunday, April 7, 2013, ballard_bootlegger wrote:
               

              Hi Chris- You've got a fun couple months in front of you. If I could give one piece of useful advice it would be to hire an attorney. The shocking amount of detail and paperwork between the federal and state licensing application process is easy to get bogged down in.
              As far as your building and location requirements it's really more of a local/state issue than a federal one. Sprinklers are not required federally. Here in Seattle the fire department can require sprinklers if you are storing bulk spirits in anything that is not made of wood or the bottle, but they might not... This loophole ridden rule is a good example of the convoluted permitting process that is best combed through by a professional comber.
              When looking for your distillery space I would recommend going as industrial as possible. Local and state municipalities will fight you less if you're not near a residential area. It's important to understand that most cities and states don't know much about distilling and may have a misconception about the viability and safety of your operation. Try to find a building that was previously used for something heavy like metal working or anything extra loud or disruptive to the environment. It's an easy choice for the powers that be to allow a use that is less impactful than that of previous occupants. What else... Oh, money. Make sure you have lots of money. You can count on paying your rent for at least six months before you can distill a drop of that sweet sweet legal nectar. All equipment must be in place and inspected before permits will be issued. Rent, equipment, branding (labels, etc.), legal fees, and time really start to add up when all must be in place before any sales can occur.
              There are so many things I wish I knew going into this, if you ever have any specific licensing questions feel free to send me a message or post here and I'll try to give you my $.02.
              Good luck and have fun!

              Drink well,
              Whitney.

              --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, chris jude <vegbenz300@...> wrote:
              >
              > Not sure that this is the right forum for this, but if anyone has any $.02
              > to throw in, or links to follow up on that'd be great.
              > I am working on the permitting and design/build and then operation of a new
              > distillery in an existing building. I'm looking for information on the
              > need or any code references regarding sprinklers in a facility operating a
              > still and storing liquor for aging in casks.
              > Also, what the experience has been with folks in the US on complying with
              > FDA inspections/permitting.
              >
              > Thanks,
              > Chris
              >

            • Eric Lowe
              My understanding is the pile height limits for storage still apply; the IFC chapter 34 exemption for barrels and bottles only counts toward reducing your MAQ.
              Message 6 of 6 , Apr 9, 2013
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                My understanding is the pile height limits for storage still apply; the IFC chapter 34 exemption for barrels and bottles only counts toward reducing your MAQ. Hence, the storage height for all bottles and barrels needs to be kept under 6'.

                I guess it's up to your local FD as to what they are comfortable with and how they interpret the code. As long as you store <120 gal of feints in tanks, and everything else is "in-process", you could argue you don't need to comply with all the H-3 requirements, but they may not agree.

                Best of luck and let us know how it goes.
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