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Stanfield denies request to approve ‘brunch bill’ ordinance

After conducting a public hearing to consider the issue, the Stanfield Town Council voted to not pass an ordinance that would have allowed alcohol sales to begin at 10 a.m. Sunday instead of noon.

The town had received a written request a few months ago from Ruchik Mehta, the owner of Stanfield Mini Mart, asking for the council to make the change.

The state first passed the “Brunch Bill” in 2017 and since then numerous municipalities have passed ordinances allowing retail outlets and restaurants in their jurisdiction to start selling alcohol at 10 a.m. Sunday. Albemarle, Badin and Locust have passed ordinances.

During the public hearing, Clint Lewey, pastor at Friendship Baptist Church, spoke in opposition of the bill, stating that Sunday should be set aside as a day of worship.

“I really feel like there is a push, not from everybody, but there is something of a push that just seems to want to treat Sunday as just any other day and not give that due respect to people who do set aside Sunday to worship the Lord,” Lewey said.

He asked the council to take a stand for “righteousness and godliness,” noting that he believes “there are more important things for a community than money.”

When it came time to make a decision, the council unanimously decided to oppose creating a Brunch Bill ordinance.

Stating her opposition, Commissioner Faye Love said while creating a brunch bill might be lawful and make sense for other communities, “just because something is lawful doesn’t mean it’s expedient.”

Commissioner Brent Holbrooks said he might have reconsidered his position if a restaurant had asked the council to pass the ordinance as opposed to a convenience store.

In other news, the council:

  • Approved of a new patrol car replacement policy crafted by Police Chief Corie Faggart. It states, among other things, that the police department will replace patrol cars once they hit 100,000 miles.
  • Took action on two planning and zoning matters: It voted for a modification to amend the town’s zoning ordinance concerning the definition of a large lot rural subdivision and they voted to amend the zoning ordinance by adding additional language concerning minimum lot easement.

The council’s next meeting will be 7 p.m. Oct. 7.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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