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Months Later, Some Clubs Get Dance Permits

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After a series of false starts, City Hall's controversial dance hall permits finally are being issued to Richmond club owners.

An ordinance passed Sept. 13 imposed on nightclub owners and operators a host of new requirements in the wake of nightclub-related violence last spring.

Nat Dance may have been the first to turn in a completed application for the permit back in December. The longtime owner of Club 534 on Harrison Street confirms that he received a permit by mail last week.

Only 21 other restaurants and clubs have applied for the permits. Four months after the original Nov. 13 submission deadline, the city has issued just eight. Seven applications are under review; the remaining seven have been marked "incomplete," city officials say.

Lawyer Michael Lafayette, who represents about 30 nightclub owners, says that Dance is the only one of his clients who reports having received the permit.

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