The Crestview City Council held a special workshop Monday night to discuss changes to ordinances dealing with alcohol sales.

CRESTVIEW — The City Council held a special workshop Monday night to discuss changes to the city’s code of ordinances regarding alcohol sales.

Three major changes were discussed: correcting the code’s language to allow bigger restaurants to come in; maintaining or changing the buffer between restaurants and schools and churches; and expanding the current exempted district on Main Street.

“My big thing is I want to keep the character of Crestview,” City Manager Tim Bolduc said. “This is a pivotal time, so I wanted to give the public an opportunity to come in here and be a part of that conversation.”

Bolduc went through the current code and addressed parts that are currently either unconstitutional or could be changed to allow for more business growth in the city.

As its stands, the City Council can give and revoke a code of compliance. The council can also allow a church to give permission for a restaurant close by to sell alcohol. Neither of those rules are constitutional.

“There’s been some Supreme Court decisions that have stated that local government can’t assign its local authority to another agency, and that has been done,” Bolduc said. “When we fix the language as it relates to a bona fide restaurant, we’ll be able to pursue bigger restaurants that we can’t get right now because the way the language is written.”

After the presentation by Bolduc, council members and others offered their thoughts and opinions on the possible changes to the code. The main point of interest for most people was the buffer between restaurants and churches and bars.

Currently, alcohol cannot be sold within 500 feet of either a church or a school. The council looked at three options for the 500 foot buffer zone: keeping it the way it is, reducing it to 250 feet or keeping the buffer as 500 feet from a school, but having no buffer from a church.

After a long discussion of possible changes, council members decided to take some time to think over their options and the public’s comments. They will host another workshop at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 28.