Regulated businesses get a break, others get more heat

Those who operate or conduct services such as massage clinics, nightclubs, adult businesses, precious metal dealers, solicitors, taxicabs and fortune tellers have had amendments to the rules that regulate the occupations.  

According to information provided last week for a public hearing, the Police Department has completed a review of the County Ordinances governing the regulated occupations. The police department is proposing several amendments in order to comply with state law, ease administrative burdens and strengthen law enforcement efforts.
Massage therapists and clinics have become more professional and no longer need local regulation, although the businesses will still be required to get a Chesterfield business license. Chesterfield County Attorney Jeffrey L. Mincks said, “Massage therapists are regulated by the state” and are required to obtain certification from the State Board of Nursing. Richmond and Henrico no longer require a local permit and merely require a business license to be obtained.

Police will tighten some regulations on precious metal dealers.  Chief of Police Thierry G. Dupuis will have the ability to revoke a permit for any violation of the ordinance regardless of whether there is a criminal conviction of precious metal dealers or not.

The dealer will be required to maintain and file records with the police department in an electronic format, similar to how such records are currently kept and submitted by pawn brokers and extend the holding period before resale for precious metals or gems from ten days to fifteen days.

A precious metals dealer’s permit can be revoked upon the first conviction of a dealer by any court for violating anything in the amended regulation or making a false statement on the applicaton. The chief of police may revoke such dealer’s permit for a mandatory period of one year from the date the conviction becomes final.
An application fee of $237 is required adding $37 to the existing fee and extensive records of the dealing with the sale and seller must be kept. In addition all purchases by the dealer must be kept on the premises for fifteen days after the purchase.

Dealers will be required to take photographs of each item purchased to aid in law enforcement activities but will now be able to extend their renewal period from six months to one year to ease burden on police of processing renewal applications, and dealers must also allow entry by the chief of police at anytime for investigation records or possible stolen goods, according to information supplied to the board at their meeting last week. At least two such dealers have been approved over the last four years in the Bermuda Magisterial District.

Nightclub applications will now need to meet amended standards before being licensed to operate in Chesterfield. The fee to operate a nightclub has increase from $25 to $62 and more additional requirements are added to the licensing process.

Each application must include a criminal background check and fingerprints of the applicant will be required, which the applicant must also pay for.  The criminal background check will be conducted by the Virginia State Police and the FBI. The nightclub will also have to comply with other standard requirements such as having a Chesterfield business license and keeping their place of business up to building codes among other requirements.

Fees to operate an adult business in the county, the operator is now required to pay $62 rather than the current $25 fee to obtain a permit to operate.
Similar to a nightclub owner, adult business operators must submit to a background check and conform to the same requirements.
To apply to be a fortune teller in Chesterfield, the fortune teller must submit to background checks as do nightclub and adult business owners. According to the proposed amendment composed by Mr. Mincks, a fee of $37 will be used to process the application .

A solicitor permit is nothing new, but applications have more than doubled to $57 and include background checks as has been described. Every solicitor must carry his permit with him at all times while engaged in soliciting, and shall display such permit to any person who demands  to see the permit. The solicitation permit is only good for 30 days.

Taxicabs drivers, of which are few and far between in Chesterfield, must renew their permit (in the old days called a ticket) each year and submit to a background check.
A driver must first attend a basic taxicab driver orientation program approved by the chief of police and obtaining a driver’s permit each subsequent year. The cost of the permit has increased from $20 to $57 with a $10 charge to replace a lost permit.

These amendments effective immediately.


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