Event Halls Go Silent As New City Ordinance Takes Effect

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Chattanooga event halls, which police said were largely unregulated and spawned a spate of violent activity, were silent over the weekend as the city's new Special Gathering Permit went into effect.

Lacie Stone of the mayor's office said, "This past weekend, rules surrounding Mayor Andy Berke’s new Special Gathering Permit went into effect, dramatically reducing the amount of previously unregulated event halls operating throughout the city."

She said no entity applied for a Special Gathering Permit for Friday or Saturday night of this past weekend. 

After conducting a sweep of event halls on Friday night, Chattanooga Police Department officers "found no activity at event halls in violation of the ordinance," she said.

Late Saturday night/early Sunday morning, one event hall (Da Building) was found to be operating after midnight without a permit. Police shut down the Da Building, and the owner was given notice of the violation.

Mayor Berke said, “This past weekend shows that the new Special Gathering Permit works. In the past, event halls have operated without accountability, and we have repeatedly witnessed violence at their events. We are off to a good start, taking a step towards ensuring the safety of those who attend or live near an event hall, as well as the city as a whole.”

In August, Mayor Berke proposed legislation designed to address public safety at event halls throughout Chattanooga. His office said, "For years, event halls had been effectively unregulated and several had history of violent activity."

Taking into account implementation and the five-day waiting period for approval of the permits, this past weekend was the first official weekend for which event halls could apply.

Police Chief Bobby Dodd said, “Through these permits, we are now able to do the enforcement necessary to address this public safety issue. When we found an event hall in violation at 1 a.m. on Sunday morning, with alcohol present, we had the tools in place to shut it down before a problem could occur.”

The Special Gathering Permit ordinance was presented to the City Council and approved on Sept. 3. The new ordinance repurposed an existing ordinance, section 25-46, et seq., that had not been applied to event halls in the past.  Now, any person or entity who is the owner or operator of an event hall or who organizes an event is responsible for obtaining a Special Gathering Permit if the event continues past midnight, charges a fee of any kind, has alcohol present on the premises, and is attended by 50 or more people or is held at a facility with an occupancy capacity of 50 or more.

Owners and operators of event halls, as well as the individual event organizers, are jointly responsible for violations at an event. Once there are two violations of the ordinance at a particular event hall within a one-year period, the site is no longer eligible for a Special Gathering Permit.


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report - And Mug Shots

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: AMINI, ROBERT ALLEN     425 425 NORTHMONT ROAD HIXSON, 37343     33     Chattanooga          DRIVING WHILE IMPAIRED     IMPLIED CONSENT LAW - DRIVERS BALDWIN, ANTONIO JARQUISE     2100 CLEVELAND AVENUE ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report - And Mug Shots

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: AUSTIN, CHRISTIAN JAMES     727 E 11TH STREET CHATTANOOGA, 37402     26     Chattanooga          PUBLIC INTOXICATION BALL, CHRISTINA JEAN     1267 LEESIDE LANE HIXSON, 37343     29     Hamilton ... (click for more)

When The City Was Silent

I don't know how to say this without getting my head handed back to me on a platter as is often the usual case. But at least I no longer receive the hateful (even threatening) emails and insults I became accustomed to. So I'll just bite and say it: I honestly don't see anything expressed by the NSM that hasn't been said locally on some level at one time or another, and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: God Could Use You…

In the spring of 1968, this just before pro golfer Billy Casper would win six tournaments that year and be the leading money winner on the tour, the wildly-popular “Buffalo Bill” was in Japan playing some off-season tournaments. He was asked if he would like to visit some American soldiers who had been seriously wounded and Casper, ever the gentleman, said of course. As he melted ... (click for more)

Soddy Daisy, Ooltewah Claim Softball Titles Saturday

A whole lot of high school softball was played at the Kids Club Park this weekend in Soddy Daisy, but it was District 5-AAA rivals Soddy Daisy and Ooltewah that walked away with the championship hardware. Soddy Daisy beat Wilson Central by a 3-2 final for first place in the Gold division while Ooltewah had a much easier time putting the Powell Lady Panthers down by a 10-1 final ... (click for more)

Owls Beat Pounders, 10-4, In Trojan Classic As Tune Up For District Stretch

Ooltewah and Central used their diamond matchup in the Trojan Classic on Saturday as a tune up for critical district home-and-home series on Monday and Tuesday. But the Owls left Central High’s baseball field in a slightly better mindset than the Purple Pounders about the week ahead. Ooltewah backed a complete game by sophomore C.J. Harden with a 12-hit attack and knocked ... (click for more)