WINCHESTER — The Winchester Board of Commissioners on Tuesday gave initial approval to an ordinance that would allow restaurants to sell alcohol on Sundays.
Restaurants within city limits would be able to sell drinks between 1 p.m. and 10 p.m. if the ordinance is approved upon second reading, which is scheduled for Sept. 3.
The ordinance does not affect package sales.
It also does not affect restaurants outside city limits. The Clark County Fiscal Court is having an ordinance drafted that would allow alcohol sales on Sunday at restaurants in wet precincts of the county. One of those establishments is Hall's on the River.
That ordinance is scheduled for first reading Aug. 28.
The issue came to the forefront in April, when a petition signed by the owners or general managers of 17 restaurants was presented to the city and county governments in Clark County. Three of those restaurants are out in the county, and 14 are within the city.
All four city commissioners and Mayor Ed Burtner spoke Tuesday and voted in favor of the city ordinance.
Commissioner Shannon Cox said he supports the change because he considers it a property rights issue.
"I hope a lot of these places that can sell alcohol on Sundays don't, but that needs to be their choice, not mine," he said.
Several pastors and other citizens pleaded with the commission not to adopt the change.
Foster Taulbee said Winchester restaurants are doing fine without selling alcohol on Sundays.
"Nothing good has ever come out of a bottle of alcohol," he said. "Give us one day free from the consumption of alcohol in public places."