FOLLY BEACH — Supporters of a binding referendum on permanently banning alcohol on the beachfront offered a petition with nearly 500 signatures tonight of residents who want the idea put to a vote.

The petition was handed over during a regular meeting of City Council. The next step is for those signatures to be verified by Charleston County election officials as legitimate signatures.

If approved, the referendum would only be open to registered Folly voters. But still left hanging is when such a vote would take place. State law allows up to a year, meaning it may not be held this year.

Council passed an emergency ordinance July 10 that outlawed drinking on the beach for 60 days following a July Fourth melee that ended with seven arrests and five injured law enforcement officers.

Council will discuss the issue again Aug. 14.

Council had been scheduled to vote tonight on a final reading that would put a non-binding referendum on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Read more later at and in tomorrow’s newspaper.