FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla.- Months of discussion could soon be over for Fort Myers Beach, with town council expected to vote on a long-debated alcohol ordinance. The proposed rules could expand the area on the beach where businesses serve booze.
It's a discussion that's gone on and on, and generated a lot of talk from both sides of the issue. After some revisions, the ordinance on the table now would allow businesses that already serve alcohol to expand the area where they serve it. It would let them move into parts of the beach currently protected for environmental reasons, but to a certain limit.
Businesses would have to keep the new areas roped off and clearly marked. They wouldn't be able to sell liquor in glass or aluminum containers. Also, sales on the beach would be limited to 11:00 a.m. to an hour after sunset.
To clarify, this ordinance only applies to liquor purchased from restaurants and has no bearing on liquor you purchase yourself. You would still be prohibited from drinking that on public beaches.
One of the main complaints from critics of this ordinance is that the new rules encroach on sea turtles during their nesting season.
There will be a final public hearing Tuesday, September 4th, after which council is expected to vote. The meeting starts at 5:30 p.m.