Muskegon Heights City Council Chooses To Continue Sunday Morning Alcohol Ban, Despite New State Law

Andrew Trzaska | December 14, 2010

Alcohol sales in the City of Muskegon Heights will remain regulated as they currently are on Sundays after a pair of proposals was voted upon at Monday’s city council meeting.

The State of Michigan recently sent specific language to Muskegon Heights and other cities changing the regulated time.  The state’s resolution would have effectively allowed businesses to sell alcohol all day on Sunday.  The law’s hours specifically noted from 7 a.m. that day until 2 a.m. on Monday.

At Monday’s meeting, however, the city council voted unanimously to deny the state’s expansion of Sunday hours.  Immediately after that vote, the council then voted to bar liquor sales from only 7 a.m. until 12 p.m. on Sundays.

This five-hour morning block of time is exactly the same as the city’s current regulations.

Local governments statewide were given the chance to affirm or opt out of the state’s new law by the state Liquor Control Commission.  While most local governments in the area will go with the wider hours, Muskegon Heights chose to keep limiting their hours.

City Manager Natasha Henderson explained that the pair of votes was required to achieve maximum clarification on the issue.  The first vote was needed to opt out of the State of Michigan’s resolution, and the second vote was used to clarify the council’s position on the city’s current law.

Many local governments were confused by the initial law when it passed.  This caused the Liquor Control Commission to further explain cities’ options, including complying with the law or choosing to maintain stricter standards.

Andrew Trzaska

103.7 “The Beat” – local government beat reporter and political analyst