• Oviedo considers easing restrictions on breweries, wineries

    By: Ty Russell , Jason Kelly


    OVIEDO, Fla. - Oviedo city leaders want to get in on the popularity of microbreweries.

    They're considering changing zoning rules that will allow the businesses to open in several parts of the city.

    Construction crews are hard at work in Oviedo, building new shops and restaurants.

    Melissa Barber, one of the city's 37,000 residents, said she and her family have noticed a difference in the city in recent years.

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    "It's still changing," she said of the city.

    Officials are considering adding zoning rules in the city's land development code to allow for the building of microbreweries and micro-wineries -- businesses that produce beer or wine in no more than half of a building's square footage and that include a tasting room and retail space.

    There are none in the city, and they're currently only allowed to open at the Oviedo on the Park development.

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    But that could soon expand to other areas in the city, such as what remains of the city's historic downtown and the area surrounding Oviedo City Hall.

    Resident Kristen Smith wouldn't mind the proposed changes.

    "Stuff like that is fun, too, for parents," she said. "When my husband is at home and not at work, we can hopefully go to those things."

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    The Oviedo Brewing Company is scheduled to open this summer at the Oviedo Mall.

    The city said it will consider the craft brewery a restaurant, because its owner expects food to count for much of its sales.

    The city said no one else has filed paperwork to open a microbrewery, but the discussion was sparked when officials were approached by those who were potentially interested in opening one.

    The Oviedo City Council is expected to vote on a proposal, but it's unknown when that will be.

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