The council committee dealing with public safety voted today to pass on to the full City Council options for banning alcohol at San Diego’s beaches.

Councilman Kevin Faulconer said he hopes the different proposals will be heard by the full council in November. The options range from an around-the-clock, citywide ban that Faulconer favors, to Mayor Jerry Sanders’ proposal, which would prohibit beach drinking only on major holidays.

Proposals for an alcohol ban surfaced shortly after 16 beachgoers were arrested in Pacific Beach on Labor Day in a confrontation with police that cued officers to dress in riot gear and close a major area street.

Opponents of a beach alcohol ban donned “Keep Freedom Legal” hats at a city council committee hearing Wednesday. Photo: Sam Hodgson

More than 100 attendees packed the council chambers to sound off on the issue, but ultimately the officials on the Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee decided to not select between the proposals or to take a position.

“We had a good debate today, both sides were well represented and respectful,” Faulconer said.

The outcome of a future council vote on the issue is unclear. Besides Faulconer, council members Scott Peters, Toni Atkins and Donna Frye have said they support the ban, while council members Tony Young, Jim Madaffer and Ben Hueso have said they oppose it. Councilman Brian Maienschein has not yet weighed in with a decision.


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