By David Madden

OCEAN CITY, N.J. (CBS) — It appears that residents of Ocean City, NJ will finally get to vote on whether to allow patrons of restaurants off the boardwalk to bring their own wine or beer to the table.

If this sounds familiar, it should. Proponents had enough signatures for a referendum last November, but pulled the question off the ballot over a legal technicality.

Now they’re ready again, having been certified with enough signatures on a new petition, which puts the matter before City Council.  Unless Council approves the issue, which is unlikely, Council president Mike Allegretto says it’ll go to voters in May.

“Some people say it could be a divisive issue in town,” Allegretto says.  “I just hope that both sides present the facts.”

Restaurateurs, on one side, say it will help business; religious leaders and many politicians point to the town’s longstanding “dry” tradition.

Allegretto just hopes that once the BYOB issue is decided, the town can put this bitter debate behind them.

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