News

Loudoun Chamber Opposes House Bill 1224

January 22, 2018
Contact: Eric C. Johnson
O (571) 209-9024
EJohnson@LoudounChamber.org
 
Loudoun Chamber Opposes House Bill 1224
 
Chamber Stands Up Against Anti Winery and Brewery Legislation  

Lansdowne, VA – The Loudoun Chamber has notified the Loudoun County delegation to the General Assembly of its opposition to House Bill 1224 (HB1224), which would remove the current exemption for farm buildings and structures from the Uniform Statewide Building Code if the building is operated as a licensed winery or farm winery or brewery. 
 
Eric C. Johnson, Government Relations Manager for the Loudoun Chamber, stated the following regarding the proposed legislation, “This proposed legislation would be damaging to the rural and farm economy here in Loudoun. Many of our more than sixty wineries and breweries feature historic buildings as part of the attraction on their property.  Those businesses that have been operating safely for years would be suddenly forced to either put in expensive upgrades to these historic structures or stop using their property altogether! The unique character of the rural tourism industry in Loudoun and the surrounding area is being threatened by this misguided proposal.”

Loudoun Chamber President & CEO Tony Howard said, “Farm wineries and breweries are a major economic success story for Loudoun County. Our farm wineries now physically represent Loudoun County’s external brand as ‘DC’s Wine Country.’ Our growing craft brewing industry attracts tourism from around Virginia as well as far beyond the borders of the Commonwealth. Needless legislation like this could be harmful for many of these outstanding businesses.”

The Loudoun Chamber will continue to monitor legislation that could have an adverse impact on wineries and breweries, and communicate its concerns with the General Laws Committee in the Virginia House of Delegates. 

HB1224 was introduced by Delegate Tim Hugo, a Republican from Fairfax who represents House District 40 and serves as the Republican Caucus Leader.
 
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