Muskegon Heights Council Overturns Sunday Liquor Ban

Andrew Trzaska | February 28, 2011

Alcohol sales are now allowed in the City of Muskegon Heights on Sunday mornings starting at 7 a.m.

At Monday’s meeting, the City Council voted 4-2 to rescind a policy they enacted in December month banning liquor sales from the hours of 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Sundays.

The city’s policy passed in December was not exactly new – it continued a Sunday alcohol ban that expired statewide late last year.

When the State of Michigan began to allow Sunday morning sales in December, towns across Michigan were given the chance to opt out of the expanded sales hours by passing more restrictive laws in their own borders.

Muskegon Heights was the only municipality in Muskegon County who chose to continue the Sunday morning ban.

The closest other community to pass a similar law was Zeeland.

City Manager Natasha Henderson stated Monday that City Hall had received a petition from numerous businesses in the town calling for the end of the restriction.
The businesses signing the petition claimed their sales were down because Muskegon Heights clientele were heading to surrounding towns to purchase alcohol earlier in the day, hurting their sales overall on Sundays.

Council members Charmaine Green, Bonnie McGlothin, William Watson and Mayor Darrell Paige voted to overturn the policy, essentially voting to allow sales on Sunday mornings.

Councilwomen Dorothy Scott and Kimberly Sims voted “no” in Monday’s vote, effectively voting to keep barring sales.

Councilman Keith Guy was absent from Monday’s meeting and did not vote on the issue.

City employees will be notifying Muskegon Heights businesses soon about specific details surrounding the new policy.

Andrew Trzaska

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