BY KATELYN CAMPBELL, APC VISTA, THE HUB
The residents and visitors to the city of St. Albans could soon be enjoying mimosas over Sunday brunch thanks to a new ordinance making its way through their city council.
The “brunch bill”, authorized by the Legislature in 2016, would allow appropriately-licensed restaurants and private clubs in St. Albans to sell alcohol on Sundays beginning at 10am. Similar brunch bills have been passed in municipalities around the state through the Municipal Home Rule Pilot Program, which was established by the Legislature in 2007.
Prior to the creation of the home rule pilot program, cities and towns in West Virginia only had the authority to take actions that are explicitly laid out for them in the state’s Constitution. This meant that it was difficult for municipalities to quickly address challenges that are either emerging around the state (like abandoned properties) or are hyper-local (like couch fires in Morgantown).
Over the past 11 years, 34 cities and towns around West Virginia have gained access to home rule privileges through a competitive application process, allowing them to pass ordinances addressing issues like code enforcement, property maintenance, intergovernmental collaboration, and, of course, brunch.
In order for St. Albans to get this brunch ordinance on the books, they’ll need to submit an amendment to their Home Rule application to the Municipal Home Rule Board and get it approved before bringing the brunch ordinance back to council for a vote.
The next Municipal Home Rule Board meeting is scheduled on Wednesday, July 11 at a location that has yet to be determined.