MONCKS CORNER -- Berkeley County Council moved a step closer tonight to approving a November referendum on Sunday beer and wine sales.

But council held off giving final approval until a public hearing is formally advertised.

Rural Berkeley County is the only place in the Charleston metropolitan area where stores can't sell beer on Sundays.

Council's Community Services Committee, which includes all council members, voted 5-1 tonight to send the referendum to full council for final approval. Dennis Fish was the lone dissenter, with Steve Davis absent. Committee Chairman Caldwell Pinckney did not vote but has supported the referendum in previous council votes.

The referendum was on the agenda of a specially called full council meeting tonight, but it was withdrawn to advertise a public hearing, Supervisor Dan Davis said.

tonight's meeting was sparsely attended, and there was no indication anyone came to speak on the proposed referendum.

The public hearing and final vote are expected at the Aug. 23 council meeting.

Residents can already buy beer and wine in most of the Berkeley County's major municipalities. Moncks Corner voters approved the referendum last November, by a majority of 61 percent. Sunday alcohol sales are also allowed in Goose Creek, Hanahan, Daniel Island, North Charleston and Summerville.

Dorchester County voters approved the referendum in November 2008, for the parts of the county that weren't already covered.

Residents have been able to buy beer and wine on Sundays anywhere in Charleston County for years.

Sunday beer and wine sales are not allowed in Colleton or Orangeburg counties.

Reach Dave Munday at 937-5553 or dmunday@postandcourier.com.