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Landis aldermen deny extended alcohol sales on Sunday

LANDIS — A public hearing in Landis opened with trepidation Monday night.

The hearing addressed the so-called “Brunch Bill,” a state law that allows local government to expand the hours of alcohol sales on Sundays.

Aldermen, residents and religious leaders alike were quick to voice their disapproval of an ordinance to allow the expansion, which failed for lack of a second during Monday’s Board of Aldermen meeting.

“If we could vote today to do away with all the alcohol (sales) on Sunday altogether, that would be my motion,” said Mayor Mike Mahaley. “… Right now, we can’t do that.”

Mahaley said he was choosing to look at the decision from a business standpoint. He said he wants to give Landis business the same chance as those in surrounding municipalities where earlier sales have been allowed.

Three residents and one local pastor spoke in opposition to the extended hours of sale.

The pastor, David Franks of First Reformed Church, said two additional hours would not make or break any store or restaurant in town.

Franks said that restricted sales are not meant to curtail enjoyment. Rather, he said, they are meant to keep Sunday a sacred day.

“(E)very time we give up some of the family values and principles that make such a place as this special, we open ourselves up to all the problems and issues that come with it,” he said.

Alderman Seth Moore said he came with the intention to vote for the ordinance, but hearing public comment changed his mind.

“Sin is going to happen whether we try and stop it or not, but as far as having reverence for the day of the Lord, I agree with Pastor Franks,” said Moore. ” … Having those additional two hours could be a stumbling block and could persuade people to not go to church … and to buy alcohol instead.”

Alderman Bobby Brown made the motion to accept the ordinance. With no second, the ordinance failed.

In other business at Monday’s meeting:

• The board scheduled three public hearings at 7 p.m. March 5.

Hearings will address the initial zoning of a recently annexed property on Mount Moriah Church Road; code changes relative to animals; and the closure of the 400 block of East Ridge Avenue and the 200 block of South Correll Street.

• The board approved a final agreement with the N.C. Department of Transportation for construction of the Grants Creek Greenway.

• The board appointed Darrell Overcash to the Planning Board.

• The board set its budget workshop for 5:15 p.m. Feb. 22.

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