NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A Norfolk council member is trying to help clarify the proposed zoning ordinance changes when it comes to how businesses can operate downtown.

Norfolk city officials and police are currently working to stop the ongoing violence in the district.

This after a rash of shootings that have left some dead and others injured. The most recent was last month when four people were shot outside a nightclub on Plume Street. One victim was a Norfolk Sheriff’s deputy.

Norfolk councilwoman Andria McClellan wrapped up a virtual meeting Monday evening to answer some questions and discuss concerns.

Some businesses claim they’re being unfairly targeted for behavior they can’t control. The city wants businesses that serve alcohol, which includes restaurants, nightclubs and banquet halls, to apply for a conditional use permit.

That process costs $1,200 and takes about 3 months. It does not directly affect DJs. However, they’re limited in where they can perform because if they go to a place that serves alcohol the business must have a Conditional Use Permit (CUP).

If a business doesn’t want to apply for a CUP, they can register for 4 events with alcohol per year and must put the request in two weeks before the event.

“How do we do a better job of listening and working together on these issues so that we don’t get to this point where, you know, sort of laying down the hammer?” said McClellan. “I’d much rather see the city be proactive than reactive. And I think everybody here will agree with that.”

City council is expected to formally make a decision on the ordinance change Tuesday night during its regular meeting.

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