Belmar's governing body on Monday adopted an amendment to its alcohol ordinance that allows liquor stores to be open on Sunday mornings.
The mayor and council held a special meeting to adopt the measure, which received a 5-0 affirmative vote, so licensed alcohol distributors could sell packaged goods beginning at 10 a.m. on Sundays -- just in time for the St. Patrick's Day Parade on March 4.
When the governing body amended the borough's alcohol ordinance earlier this month allowing restaurants to serve drinks on Sunday mornings, they inadvertantly failed to include liquor stores.
Mayor Matthew Doherty has said that when the governing body amended the ordinance on Feb. 1 to allow the sale of alcohol beginning at 10 a.m. on Sundays, they thought it included for distributors, but due to the language of the amendment, the new ordinance only covered consumption, which meant liquor stores still couldn't open shop before noon as the ordinance says.
Since the governing body wanted licensed distributors to be able to take advantage of the parade, the mayor and council scheduled the special meeting to adopt the amendment, introduced Feb. 15, to its second and final reading, Doherty has said.
"(The original amendment) was supposed to change the hours of operations for the consumption and distribution of alcohol in all of Belmar. We only did it for the consumption and not for the distribution, so we inadvertantly left out the stores that sell retail. So this (new amendment) will simply fix that error on our part," Doherty has said.