Several Norfolk businesses not allowed to host holiday parties due to ‘dance hall ordinance’

Posted at 11:20 AM, Dec 20, 2013

Norfolk, Va. - Several Norfolk businesses were told they could not have their holiday parties because it would have violated the rules of the city’s “public dance hall” ordinance.

The businesses are also having to pay fines due to the fire marshal inspection, NewsChannel 3 has learned.

The Satya Yoga Studio in Norfolk is in the business of body movement, but moving to the beat of music is at the center of an issue they’re having with the Norfolk Fire Marshal and a city code.

“No problem with incense or candles,” says instructor Logan Taylor.

Instead, it’s the dancing that’s not allowed at a holiday party Logan wanted to throw at the studio this weekend.

“I just wanted to have my community of students here to have a good time,” she said.

Not long after she posted a flyer for the party on Facebook, a Fire Marshal showed up.

“She said, well, it says on Facebook there’s going to be dancing…” Logan says. “She said, well, that’s not allowed unless you have a nightclub permit, and entertainment permit.”

The Norfolk “Dance Hall” city code says that if you’re not licensed as such, you can’t boogie at your business for a party.

According to the ordinance, it's considered a dance hall if you use more than 10 percent of the building for dancing.

There won’t be any congregating for With Lavender and Lace’s holiday party either. The Fire Marshal halted their party as well.

“They sort of generally looked around and then said you can’t have this party,” said owner Kelsie McNair.

On top of that, both businesses got billed for inspections and parties that will never be.

“They cancelled our party and then they sent me a bill,” she said.

The business owners at With Lavender and Lace and at Satya’s say while their parties are on hold, they plan on pushing for change.

“What a marvelous opportunity to raise awareness and to build a better community right?” said Logan.

Click here to view the ordinance from the City of Norfolk.

A Facebook page has been created in response to the city's ordinance: "Legalize Dancing in Norfolk"