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Voters Reject Alcohol Sales in 4 Precincts (Kentucky)

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30. Voters Reject Alcohol Sales in 4 Precincts (Kentucky)

'We're just elated,' ban supporters say
Courier-Journal – Excerpt
September 11, 2007
Alcohol sales will soon be a thing of the past in part of far western Louisville.
In a special election yesterday, 86 percent of voters backed banning liquor and alcohol sales in four precincts that take in a large portion of the Shawnee neighborhood and a sliver of Portland.
That means no new liquor licenses will be issued in any of those precincts for at least three years. Businesses that now hold licenses there will be required to stop selling liquor within 60 days of certification of the results.
The results could be certified and sent to the secretary of state as soon as tomorrow, election officials said.
Supporters of the ban were jubilant tonight after hearing news of the victory at the Spirit of Love Center, which served as their headquarters during the election.

"We're just elated. The community is sending a message that we want to improve our quality of life," said Metro Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton, who helped spearhead the anti-liquor effort. "It's going to have a ripple effect on the community in terms of positive things - employment, housing, economic development.

"This is just the first step. We're getting ready to roll out a lot of things."

At least some of the five businessmen affected by the results were more subdued.


31. Council approves expanded Sunday alcohol sales 10-4 (Kentucky)
Bottles of wine, pints of bourbon and six-packs of beer can be sold on Sundays in Lexington starting Dec. 16.

Herald Leader
September 13, 2007
By a 10-4 vote, the Urban County Council Thursday approved a proposal allowing the widespread sale of by-the-drink and packaged liquor on Sundays.
Currently, Sunday alcohol sales in Lexington are limited to by-the-drink sales of beer, distilled spirits and wine from 1 to 11 p.m. at restaurants that seat 100 or more customers and generate more than half their revenue from food sales. Racetracks, convention centers and some hotels also are allowed to sell on Sundays.
The vote means that any retail establishment with a liquor license can sell alcohol on Sundays. The ordinance takes effect Dec. 11, but Dec. 16 is the first Sunday when expanded sales will be allowed.
Bars, liquor stores, restaurants of all sizes, and convenience and grocery stores will be allowed to sell alcohol on Sundays. All alcohol, including beer, distilled spirits and wine, can be sold both by-the-drink, as well as in a package sale.
The approval of expanded Sunday sales didn't come easily, and many council members spoke of the difficulty of the decision. Several mentioned that they or their families had been personally affected by alcoholism.
Councilwoman Andrea James, the most vocal council opponent of the proposal, tried to table the measure and send it back to committee for more study, but her motion failed.
She then pleaded with fellow council members to delay the vote, which she said would affect quality of life in the community. She said the measure needed more discussion - as evidenced by the large crowds the issue has drawn recently. The council chambers were packed Thursday night, as they were at a public hearing earlier in the week.
"It's been rushed, and I don't know why," she said.
James, who represents the urban 1st District, said some alcohol is already available on Sundays, and there's no need for expanding sales further. "I still haven't seen a report for how Lexington will benefit economically."
Vice Mayor Jim Gray said that the council had given the proposed ordinance serious thought and consideration, and had listened to many viewpoints. He said that there was no evidence that the level of alcohol abuse would increase because of its availability on any particular day - a sentiment echoed by several other council members.
Gray said he supported the expansion of sales as a matter of fairness. Right now, some businesses and restaurants can sell alcohol on Sundays, while small restaurants and other establishments can't.
Other council members said they didn't see a groundswell of demand for changing Sunday drinking hours. Councilman Kevin Stinnett said he struggled with the decision, but pointed out that large groups of citizens weren't pushing for the change.
People have "adapted to the current law, and they are satisfied," said Stinnett, who voted against the measure.
The council held one public hearing on the alcohol ordinance. During that hearing on Tuesday, opponents, many of them pastors or church members, shared stories of family members who had been killed by drunken drivers or beaten by spouses who drank. They said expanding Sunday hours would lead to more alcoholism, alcohol-related crashes and hungover employees who would not arrive to work on time on Mondays. It would also lessen the respect for the Lord's Day, they said.
Supporters, including business organizations and supporters of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, said expanding the Sunday hours is needed to remain competitive with Louisville and Northern Kentucky, which already have longer Sunday sales hours and allow package sales. It's also an issue of fairness because some businesses are allowed to sell alcohol while others can't.
They said there are many religions in Lexington, not just Christianity, and Sunday isn't the Lord's Day for everyone.

Those sentiments were restated by both sides before Thursday night's vote. The council allowed one speaker on each side to comment for 10 minutes apiece.

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