Like its Lee County and City of Sanford neighbors to the west, Harnett County commissioners this week voted to allow the sale of alcohol before noon on Sundays at “licensed premises within unincorporated areas” of the county.
The state legislature’s passage of Senate Bill 155 last summer gave cities and counties the ability to determine whether alcohol could be sold — both in restaurants and stores — beginning at 10 a.m. on Sundays. Since then, dozens of cities and counties, ranging from towns of just a few hundred to the biggest cities in the state, have adopted ordinances.
Harnett’s bill does not include incorporated towns and cities. According to the N.C. Restaurant and Lodging Association, Harnett towns Angier, Erwin, Coats, Dunn and Lillington have not passed ordinances. Lee County’s commissioners and Sanford’s city council passed separate bills in 2017.
According to Harnett commissioners, passage of the ordinance “will allow the hospitality community and retail merchants in our county to meet consumer demands of their customers … and will benefit the county’s small business community, bring people into business districts earlier in the day and generate increased tax revenues.”