NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — As part of his annual budget proposal, Norfolk City Manager Chip Filer is calling for the creation of a business compliance unit to make sure businesses are following the rules.
Filer made the pitch to dedicate $450,000 to hire nine new full-time employees who will focus on enforcement of conditional use permit (CUP) requirements. Specifically, the unit will focus on “activities that frequently occur after-hours” like short-term rentals and nightclubs.
“I think after the events over the weekend, [it] is more important now than ever,” Filer said, referring to the shooting outside a nightclub that left two dead and three injured Saturday morning.
Norfolk City Council members have made it clear they are taking a hard stance on businesses that have violence associated with them. City Council went as far late last year to shut clubs down after multiple shootings happened outside.
“We want to continue to have that reputation as a city that’s open for business. However we want businesses to adhere to enforcement,” Mayor Kenny Alexander said at the time.
Following the most recent shooting, Councilwoman Courtney Doyle has asked for a review of all Granby Street CUPs for compliance and specifically Chicho’s Backstage.
Lelia Vann, president of the Downtown Norfolk Civic League, said she supports the city manager’s idea to further engage business owners in the fight against violence.
“They need to be part of the solution,” Vann said.