Plano Considering Whether to OK Tattoo Parlors in Downtown

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The city of Plano is considering changes that would allow tattoo shops in its downtown neighborhood.

Right now, shops can offer tattoo services, but they cannot operate primarily as tattoo parlors, but rather offer them as an ‘accessory’ service.

Plano is not alone.

Garland and Arlington also do not allow primary tattoo parlors downtown, according to their city spokespeople.

Grand Prairie allows a limited number of tattoo parlors in its downtown with a special permit, according to its city spokesperson.

For many business owners, opening in downtown Plano has really paid off.

“Business is actually booming. It's amazing,” said Angela Crowe, owner of Fur Babies Baker which just celebrated one year in its brick-and-mortar store.

Lyla’s Clothing Boutique & More nearby is celebrating five years in business.

“We're so excited. We're finally making our recovery from COVID,” said owner Meagan Waters.

And now, a new kind of business wants a piece of downtown's growth and success. “We would like to open an upscale tattoo and permanent cosmetics studio,” said Jennifer Bailey before the Plano Planning and Zoning Commission committee in February.

Bailey and her business partner want to transform an empty storefront on K Avenue into a tattoo shop.

Problem is, they can’t. Not if tattoos are the primary service they'll provide.

Bailey could open up a shop and offer tattoo services as an accessory to another primary service.

Their desired location is the former Ashes Smokes & Tattoos which shut down a number of years ago.

The entrepreneurs are requesting that the city's planning and zoning committee change a 2001 ordinance and allow primary tattoo parlors in Plano’s Downtown Business Government District.

Accessory or primary tattoo shops are allowed in other parts of the city with permits, according to the city.

City leaders tell NBC 5, that even if the ordinance is changed, there may be restrictions added, including potentially limiting the number of tattoo parlors allowed downtown and keeping such shops 1,000 feet from homes and churches.

Boutique owner Meagan Waters welcomes a boost in traffic and fewer vacancies in her neighborhood.

“As a small business owner, I'd rather see something in the building than an empty building sitting there,” she said. “Some of these buildings have sat empty for quite a while.”

The community will soon get an opportunity to sound off on the issue.

A public hearing before the Plano Planning and Zoning Committee is scheduled for May 2.

If the effort to change the 2001 ordinance passes the committee with a recommendation for approval, it could go to the full city council for a vote on May 23, according to the city.

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