Archived News

Brunch Bill hearing planned for Jackson

A public hearing at 5:30 p.m. Monday, March 19, will give Jackson County residents a chance to weigh in on the pros and cons of allowing Sunday morning sales in their county.

Passed last year, the so-called Brunch Bill allows North Carolina counties and municipalities to decide whether to allow Sunday alcohol sales beginning at 10 a.m., as opposed to the current start time of noon. Commissioners originally planned to vote on the issue in October, but when a full room of community members turned out to voice their opinion before the planned vote, commissioners decided to delay their decision until a formal public hearing could be scheduled. At the request of Cashiers Area Chamber of Commerce Director Stephanie Edwards, they opted to wait until spring to schedule hearings in Sylva and Cashiers so that Cashiers business owners — those likely to be most affected by the change — would have better opportunity to participate.

The Brunch Bill faces stiff opposition in Jackson County, mostly from members of the religious community who feel that alcohol is dangerous to the community and that any change should be aimed at restricting access, not increasing it. Proponents, meanwhile, say that allowing Sunday morning sales would have a significant economic impact, with tourists extending their weekend stay to enjoy a leisurely brunch meal or choosing Jackson as a vacation destination over another community that doesn’t allow Sunday morning sales.

No date has been set for a hearing in Cashiers, though commissioners have stated their intention to do so. The agenda for the regular meeting to be held after the public hearing does not include a vote on the Brunch Bill.

The public hearing will be open to anybody wishing to speak, with a time limit of three minutes per speaker. It will be held in Room A201 of the Jackson County Justice and Administration Building in Sylva.

Those wishing to make written comments can send them to Angie Winchester, clerk to the Board of Commissioners, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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