The Ball Ground City Council approved changes to the city code at Thursday’s meeting, bringing city laws in line with those recently approved at the state level. The council also gave final approval to an alcohol license from Choate BBQ and initial approval to an alcohol license from Lorna Mae’s.

Ball Ground could be home to a micro-distillery, as officials recently gave the green light to allow such businesses in the city.

The Ball Ground City Council unanimously passed changes to local alcohol laws Thursday that, among other things, allow micro-distilleries to set up shop in the city. According to the American Craft Spirits Association, a micro-distillery, also sometimes referred to as a craft distillery, is a distillery that produces less than 750,000 gallons of distilled spirits per year and is independently owned and operated.

City officials did not immediately respond to an inquiry as to whether or not any micro-distilleries are currently looking at coming to town.

The city council also approved allowing restaurants to sell to-go alcoholic beverages with carryout orders, with a limit of two per entree.

These changes were made possible by state alcohol laws that passed earlier this year.

Under Ball Ground’s new rules, businesses will be allowed to apply for an alcohol license before the building it will occupy is constructed. Businesses seeking alcohol licenses will have to get a building permit approved within 60 days of the license being issued, or the license will be null and void. The changes also clarify how to measure the distance between businesses wanting to sell alcohol and locations like churches and schools. Prior to the changes, these distances had been measured directly between property lines. With the amendments made to city code, these distances will be calculated by measuring the distance along the most common route of travel.

Also at the meeting, the council gave its final approval to an alcohol license application for Choate BBQ, located at 10150 Ball Ground Highway, Suite 201. Council members gave initial approval for an alcohol license application for Lora Mae’s, located at 420 Old Canton Road. During the work session prior to the meeting, City Manager Eric Wilmarth said Lora Mae’s was getting close to opening and had asked for the license to be able to serve wine to customers. The council will hold a final vote on Lora Mae’s application at their July 15 meeting.

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