Judge rules in Talbot Hall case, affect for school board?

Norfolk MermaidLast week, Norfolk Circuit Court judge Junius P. Fulton III issued a ruling in the Talbot Hall case. The case involves the zoning of the area around the historic mansion; those who want to preserve the view to the river sued to overturn the zoning ruling of Norfolk City Council. (More here.) At the center of this case is Norfolk citizens’ right to referendum. The city sought a summary judgment, plea in bar, and dismissal, saying that zoning decisions are not subject to referendum. The judge disagreed. Here’s the money quote:

The Norfolk City Charter provides citizens with a right to referendum on all ordinances except for those “provide for work, improvement, or repairs” and for ordinances exempted by the referendum process by law.

I’m no lawyer but it seems to me that this reaffirmation of the right to referendum bodes well for the effort to overturn the recent vote for ward elections for the school board. Better Together Norfolk is collecting signatures on petitions to ask council to reconsider its vote. Barring that:

Better Together Norfolk organizers said they also would pursue a referendum if council members ignore the petitions.

Ain’t local politics great? 😉

 

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2 thoughts on “Judge rules in Talbot Hall case, affect for school board?

  1. I briefly read through the order and based on what it said, I have to wonder whether Better Together Norfolk could have consolidated their petitions in one ordinance. It seems like the court has held that repealing, changing, adding, etc.. are all legislative functions and need not be separated out.

    So now the question is, when is the election? And can Norfolk afford both a Talbot Hall referendum and potentially a school board related referendum without asking for extra money? That’s especially true if we have no GA incumbents challenged this year.

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