Permit Denial Upheld for Waterside Bars

Deborah Elkins//March 13, 2013

Permit Denial Upheld for Waterside Bars

Deborah Elkins//March 13, 2013

Two bars that operated in Norfolk’s Waterside Festival Marketplace lose their challenge to the city council’s revocation of a blanket special exception and denial of their individual applications to continue their operations; the Supreme Court of Virginia affirms judgment for the city, holding that the bars did not have vested rights and were not denied due process.

Norfolk 102 LLC and Norfolk 302 LLC are Norfolk businesses operating as Bar Norfolk and Have a Nice Day Café. In 2009, the city council revoked a blanket special exception permitting Bar Norfolk and the Café to operate as “Entertainment Establishments” serving alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption and denied their individual applications for special exceptions to continue such operations. Both establishments now assert that the city council’s actions impaired their vested rights and that the manner in which the city council executed these actions violated their statutory notice and constitutional due process rights.

Bar Norfolk and the Café, however, cannot claim vested rights under Va. Code § 15.2-32307 to a land use that was impermissible under the applicable zoning ordinance when they opened for business, and no city official issued a determination under Code § 15.2-2311(C) authorizing the use of their premises in  manner not otherwise permitted under the existing zoning ordinances. Further, Bar Norfolk and the Café had notice of and an opportunity to be heard at the city council meeting when these matters were considered.

Judgment for the city affirmed.

Norfolk 102 LLC v. City of Norfolk (Kinser) No. 120634, Feb. 28, 2013; Norfolk Cir.Ct. (Thomas) Kevin E. Martingayle for appellants; Adam D. Melita, Dep. City Att’y; Wayne Ringer, Chief Dep. City Att’y. VLW 013-6-025, 23 pp.

VLW 013-6-025

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