Mayor Jerry Sanders signed the City Council-approved ban on drinking at the beach today, a spokesman said.

It’s typically the final step before a city law takes effect, but Sanders’ signature is the next milestone in a saga that will likely end up in the polling booth, where the ban’s opponents hope voters will determine its fate. Tomorrow, the ban’s foes can begin gathering signatures to put the question on the ballot.

City law allows the public to challenge a law in an upcoming election if 5 percent of the city’s electorate — or 30,209 voters — sign a petition. Referendum supporters can begin gathering signatures 30 days after the mayor’s signature.

Under the proposal, alcohol would be banned from all city beaches at all times of the day for a one-year trial. However, alcohol will be allowed at some coastal areas with a city-issued permit for special events.

Council members Scott Peters, Kevin Faulconer, Toni Atkins, Donna Frye and Ben Hueso voted for the ban. Councilmen Tony Young and Jim Madaffer voted no. Councilman Brian Maienschein was absent or abstained during the booze ban votes.

EVAN McLAUGHLIN

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