Archive for Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Topeka advances Sunday liquor sales

November 19, 2003

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— The City Council is moving forward with an ordinance that would finally clear the way for liquor sales on Sundays -- and some holidays -- in Kansas' capital city.

The council has already passed a charter ordinance allowing liquor stores to open on Sundays but still must establish the hours for legal sales.

On Monday, the council's policy committee advanced the latest ordinance, introduced by Councilman Jeff Preisner. The full council will take up the measure Tuesday or Dec. 2.

Preisner said the ordinance was written to allow Topeka liquor stores to sell at the same time and on the same days as stores in unincorporated Shawnee County.

The charter ordinance was passed in August and went into effect after a protest petition last month failed to garner enough signatures to send the issue to a special election.

Under Preisner's ordinance, liquor stores would be able to sell liquor from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays.

The ordinance was passed out of the policy committee without a recommendation by a 3-0 vote.

Previously, there had been talk of sitting on the ordinance until the Legislature next spring clarifies the state's liquor laws, which aren't binding statewide.

But some liquor store owners in Topeka have complained about losing sales to stores outside the city limits, which are allowed to sell liquor on Sundays.

"I think it's time we get this issue settled," Councilman John Nave said.

In addition to setting Sunday store hours, Preisner's ordinance would allow liquor to be sold on Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day, all of which had been prohibited previously.

Liquor stores would not be able to sell on Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter.

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