Battle rages in Highland over Sunday business restrictions

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 28 2012 11:28 p.m. MDT

HIGHLAND — A battle rages in Highland as petitioners gather signatures opposing the City Council's recent decision to overturn its law prohibiting business operations on Sunday.

"A more than sufficient number of signatures have been affixed to a referendum that will put a recent Highland City ordinance (on the ballot in November)," Rod Mann, a Highland citizen behind the petition, said in a blog post published August 17.

Mann also recognized opponents to the Sunday restrictions in his post while addressing common concerns like constitutionality and a separation of church and state.

Jeremy Lyman, director of the Center for Private Property for Libertas Insitute, is one such opponent.

Lyman spoke out against the restrictions in a recent blog post, arguing the council's vote "supports private property rights on many levels."

"The most fundamental private property right is the right to control one's own body, and as an extension of that, control one's own actions," Lyman said in his post. "If an individual owns and operates a business in Highland, restricting his right to use his property on Sunday is a violation of that fundamental right."

Those who support Sunday restrictions are people "who value a common day of rest and believe it benefits the community as a whole," Mann said in his post.

"Should (residents) be forced to strike down an ordinance that supports their values because a few may be 'offended'?" Mann said on his blog. "When did standing up for values become a vice rather than a virtue?"

Petitioners have gathered 2,200 signatures, far greater than the required 889.

The petition began after the Highland City Council voted 3-2 in July to allow business to open on Sunday. After the vote, those who opposed had to petition to put the issue on the November ballot.

EMAIL: jferguson@desnews.com, TWITTER: joeyferguson

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