Kansas City council approves revised liquor ordinance for 18th & Vine

Rudy Harper/KCTV5

A Kansas City church will no longer have veto power to intervene from a business obtaining a liquor license to sell in the 18th and Vine District.

A debate was held Thursday at Kansas City's City Hall as city council members voted on a controversial ordinance over liquor sales in the 18th and Vine District.

The ordinance, sponsored by Councilman Jermaine Reed, passed by a 10-3 vote.

The biggest opponents of the proposal was a small church congregation that had the right to say yes or no to liquor sales near their front door.

It’s the dark side of 18th and Vine that worries lead Pastor Demean Ellis Senior of Grace Temple Church.

“I was outside on the stairs one morning and a young man punched another man in the face and he looked up and said, 'you lucky that that pastor is there,'” he said.

Ellis said the issues relate to alcohol - and that's why he's opposed to the ordinance.

A few supporters of the new ordinance held signs at the council meeting with the hashtag #LetTheMusicPlay.

Sharon Valleau is in favor of the ordinance.

“As one of the four corner stones of jazz, Kansas City, so deserves this," she said.

Reed said the measure was not meant to take away the voice of the church. He said it will help attract new businesses and provide a new revenue stream for the city.

“Why should they be denied the opportunity to sell liquor with a meal," he said.

An interested business still has to go through a process with stakeholders in the community.

Copyright 2018 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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