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Fort Worth Officials Take Up Distillery Debate

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - A historic Fort Worth country club is on the market, and plans to reinvent the space could offer a massive boost for the economy. But not everyone is on board with the plan. The Fort Worth Zoning Commission is meeting on Wednesday to take up the heated debate.

Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co. stated that it is ready to take over Glen Garden Country Club. The golf course has struggled financially, and has been on the market for two years. The whiskey distiller is looking to expand operations, creating a tasting room and an area to hold outdoor events.

The company needs a zoning change to carry out their plans on the country club land.

However, there are some residents who are vehemently opposed to turning this piece of golf history into a whiskey distillery. They met over the weekend to plead their case to councilwoman Kelly Allen Grey. One woman explained, "We stand strong in saying to you, as our representative, we don't want a whiskey distillery in our community."

"The distillery needs to find a different place where the truck traffic is not a problem," said opponent Bob Gray. "Where they can build their silos or whatever they build, incorporate them, close them and have their truck traffic and build their whiskey, but not in a residential area."

Supporters have said that the distillery will be a catalyst for economic development, creating jobs in the community.

"It's an unusual and unique opportunity coming to an area that needs revitalization and redevelopment," stated supporter Cynthia Morrison. "It can spur the same thing -- the same type of investments -- to come into the area, and it will enhance property values and put Rolling Hills on the map."

People on both sides of the heated debate were at Fort Worth City Hall on Wednesday to further discuss the issue. It is expected to go before the Fort Worth City Council next month, along with thoughts from the city's zoning commission.

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