Greenville Co. will not see Sunday alcohol sales this year - FOX Carolina 21

Greenville Co. will not see Sunday alcohol sales this year

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Palmetto Restaurant and Ale House doesn't open Sundays. (June 17, 2014/FOX Carolina) Palmetto Restaurant and Ale House doesn't open Sundays. (June 17, 2014/FOX Carolina)
Greenville County Committee of the Whole meets on Tuesday. (June 17, 2014/FOX Carolina) Greenville County Committee of the Whole meets on Tuesday. (June 17, 2014/FOX Carolina)
Diners are able to drink alcohol at Greenville Co. restaurants except on Sundays. (June 17, 2014/FOX Carolina) Diners are able to drink alcohol at Greenville Co. restaurants except on Sundays. (June 17, 2014/FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Sunday alcohol sales will not happen in Greenville County for at least another two years.

Tuesday night, Greenville County Council's Committee of the Whole put the brakes on a referendum that would have allowed voters to decide in November.

Council members who voted to hold the debate expressed concern that serving alcohol on Sundays would lead to domestic violence or problems when people are drunk.

Fred Payne, District 28, said that he voted to hold discussion and not pass it through for the second reading at the full council meeting because he didn't want to make it more confusing for voters in the fall. He said they will already see a referendum about raising the sales tax to improve roads, so he didn't want to add any others.

"Some of us feel like we're better to have only one resolution on the ballot in November from the county," said Payne.

Council members, Liz Seman (District 24) and Jim Burns (District 21) said it's less about what they think is moral and more about helping county businesses stay competitive.

"I'm disappointed that my colleagues chose to stand behind, hide behind, a procedural move rather than declare if they were for it or not," said Burns. "Let's not move to hold something when they know, when it was clearly stated up there, that if it was held, that was a motion to kill because of the time tables."

Local business owners in the county, like David McCraw of Palmetto Restaurant and Ale House off Pelham Road, said it's not worth opening on Sundays if he can't serve alcohol. He said he's at a disadvantage when competing against restaurants who have been annexed by nearby cities who can serve alcohol on Sundays.

"[The cities] continue to expand their territory and bring in these businesses. All that's happening is they're sucking the revenue out of Greenville County," said McCraw.

Because of an Aug. 15 deadline for when referendums can be added to the November ballot, the next time this measure can be added will be the following general election in 2016.

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