Burleson Battles Over Tattoo Studio Permits

A City Council member and some residents want to keep "Sinners and Saints" out of Burleson.

Burleson natives Chris Warren and Shane Robertson want to have city's first tattoo studio, but they'll have to wait for a City Council vote before opening the Sinners and Saints Tattoo Co.

Council members approved the first reading of an ordinance that would allow tattoo studios with a special-use permit. They will discuss the issue Monday and vote on it April 19.

Councilman Dan McClendon, who opposes the measure, said people seeking body art have options outside of Burleson.

"I don't think that the city needs a tattoo parlor," he said. "I think the city that we want to create wouldn't have one. I have not seen a tattoo parlor anywhere that I can look at and say, 'I'm glad my vote brought that to the city of Burleson,' and I believe that's the way my constituents would have me choose."

Warren told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that people have a bad impression of tattoo studios.

"It's no different than any other business," he told the newspaper. "We're not doing anything illegal, and we are heavily regulated by the state."

Trevor Curtin, a tattoo artist at Inktwister Art Studio in Fort Worth, said clientele for tattoos has changed from the '90s, when mostly bikers, ex-cons and members of the military wanted to get inked. Today, everyone from doctors to lawyers to teachers to grandmothers gets tattoos.

"Even 70-year-old ladies come in, and they get their first rose tattoo, and they are happy," he said. "I've got a lot of old people who get their first tattoos in their 60s and 70s, and they love it."

McClendon said he is not opposed to people getting tattoos, saying it is their personal choice.

"I think I'd rather see a better use of a piece of property in Burleson than have a tattoo parlor," he said.

Amy Watkins, a Burleson resident, agreed.

"I really don't like the idea, just because there's a lot of schools and churches, and it's a wholesome community," she said.

But Jeremy Watkins said getting inked is now mainstream.

"It's just a sign of the times," he said. "Tattoos are just accepted."

Tattoo studios have no "listed definition" in Burleson's planning and zoning rules, according to the Star-Telegram. The city's director of development, Shai Roos, told the newspaper that the Planning and Zoning Commission recommended allowing them in commercial areas with special-use permits.

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