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Geneva council votes down tattoo shop 8-2

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014 12:09 a.m. CDT

GENEVA – After more than an hour of debate, Geneva aldermen voted, 8-2, Tuesday against a request to amend the list of permitted uses in the Eagle Brook planned unit development to include a tattoo shop.

One of the issues for the council was the fact the planned unit development was large –  from Fabyan Parkway to Glen Eagle with Bent Tree on the east and Randall Road on the west – and the notifications of the requested text amendment did not include all of the property owners.

“This is a pretty big deal,” 2nd Ward Alderman Donald Cummings said. “This is a big PUD and I have to vote no on the first motion.”

But 1st Ward Alderman Mike Bruno said the previous tenant there was a tanning salon. 

“The distinction is a tanning salon is what is permitted seems to be exactly the same thing as a tattoo parlor,” Bruno said. “Which comes down to be a judgment … on the character of tattoo parlors. … I don’t find that distinction that I can justify of tanning salon: cool. Tattoo parlor: not cool.”

Bruno and 1st Ward Alderman Chuck Brown were the only two “yes” votes.

Although aldermen acting as the committee of the whole last week voted 5-4 against the request, the petitioner, Ramiro Guillen, appealed the denial to the City Council.

Guillen wanted to open a tattoo shop, Artistic Theories & Gallery at 1871 S. Randall Road.  

At last week’s discussion, there was only one issue; this week, aldermen considered first a text amendment, then a special use permit. If the first issue did not pass, they would not have to act on the second one.

Attorneys for other owners in the business district also argued the majority of owners did not want the tattoo shop included among permitted uses.

Guillen said if the council did not support his petition, he would consider opening a shop in another business district in Geneva that allows tattoo parlors among its uses.

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