The proposed ordinance would prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages by state licensees within Destin from 4-7 a.m. every day.

DESTIN — A majority of the City Council on Tuesday approved the first reading of an ordinance that would remove additional Sunday restrictions on the sale of alcoholic beverages.

The proposed ordinance would prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages by state licensees within Destin from 4-7 a.m. every day. Currently, the city prohibits such sales between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 4 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Sundays.

That change would delete the additional Sunday restrictions, meaning the city’s rules would mirror those in the city of Fort Walton Beach.

The council voted 5-2 to approve the first reading of the ordinance without discussion. Councilmen Jim Foreman and Tuffy Dixon voted against it.

The council could vote Feb. 5 on whether to adopt the ordinance, which would take effect immediately.

The change was proposed by Councilman Parker Destin, who in early January told fellow council members that the city’s existing law on Sunday alcohol sales was hurting local businesses such as groceries and convenience stores.

At Tuesday’s meeting, a representative of Panhandle-area ChevronTexaco stores thanked the council for considering the change.

She said the city’s current law on Sunday alcohol sales forces many local customers to travel to Fort Walton Beach or Walton County, where they can purchase their beer, wine and liquor earlier in the day.

In unincorporated Walton County, alcoholic beverages may be sold from 5 a.m. to 2 a.m. every day.

In unincorporated Okaloosa County, alcoholic beverages can be sold Monday through Saturday, from 8 a.m. until 4 a.m. the following morning.

Such sales also are permitted from 1 p.m. Sunday until 4 a.m. Monday. Restaurants and other eateries that regularly serve full meals are allowed to sell alcoholic beverages from 10 a.m. Sunday to 4 a.m. Monday.

In unincorporated Santa Rosa County, alcoholic beverages may be sold from 7 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. every day.

Longtime Destin resident Curtis Gwin was opposed to changing to the city’s law on Sunday alcohol sales.

"I’ve lived in Destin for 36 years," Gwin told council members. "It’s not a good idea. I personally don’t see a need to change it."

In other business Tuesday, the council:

Agreed to have a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. Monday to decide the city's next step in its ongoing contract negotiations with Gulf Power. The council on Monday could decide to accept Gulf Power's new contract offer, reject it, make a counter offer or look to extend the existing contract by one year. City officials also retain the option of purchasing or having another company purchase the Gulf Power utility system in Destin. Monday's special meeting will be at the City Hall Annex at 1400 Indian Bayou Trail.