City leaders in Spring Hill debated Monday night during a meeting whether the city's churches are physically blocking future growth.
The sale of beer and liquor is currently prohibited within 100 feet of a church and some say there are so many churches in Spring Hill it's hard for restaurants to thrive.
When churches open in a storefront in strip malls, it's even harder.
One city alderman suggested eliminating the distance requirement in areas zoned for office, retail and churches such as strip malls.
Others suggest getting rid of it all together so that businesses can open and thrive in the Maury County city.
“I've had a lot of people from my church that support it and they basically have said, ‘You know it's just the right thing to do, you know to help the small businesses and to attract favorable restaurants to Spring Hill,'” Alderman Rick Graham said.
He continued, “We have several restaurants that have closed down and got vacant spaces, they've been vacant, and this just enables them to come in and fill spaces.”
Many Spring Hill residents hope the board will vote to ease the restrictions.
“We don't believe alcohol is inherently sinful,” said Pastor Josh Howerton, of The Bridge Church in Spring Hill, adding, “Our church family would rather be a blessing to the community instead of a burden.”
The proposal is set to be voted on for a final time in upcoming weeks.