Danville City Council members considering changes to city's assembly ordinance

Changes would make ordinance more detailed

DANVILLE, Va. – In the wake of events like the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville last year, Danville Mayor Alonzo Jones says City Council members are trying to prevent a tragedy from happening in Danville.

"Everything that's happened there in Charlottesville, our hearts are still sad with everything that took place there," Jones said.

The updated assembly ordinance council members are considering is about eight pages long.

The current ordinance, in place since 1986, is only one paragraph.

Under the proposed ordinance, anyone wanting to hold some kind of assembly has to notify the city at least 72 hours ahead of time.

The current ordinance says you only have to notify the city 12 hours before the event.

The proposed ordinance limits the types of signs that are allowed and how they can be displayed.

It also includes a lengthy list of items that are banned and says whoever is organizing the event can't hold the city responsible for anything that happens.

"This is not just something from the City Council here in Danville or the police here in Danville, they have sought out advice throughout our country," Jones said, "to get advice on the best way to do this."

Danville Police Department Lt. Mike Wallace says an updated ordinance could help the department.

"Our efforts to be more transparent and our efforts to be more clear with the public, I'm hoping that crosses over here," Wallace said.

The proposed changes to the ordinance will be discussed at the Sept. 4 City Council work session.

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