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Planning Commission To Consider Tattoo, Body Piercing Studios

Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH - The Carolina Beach Planning and Zoning Commission will consider a request to allow body piercing and tattoo studios in the Highway Business District on Lake Park Blvd at their December 13, meeting at 7PM.
According to Planning Director Ed Parvin, Dixon Broadfoot is requesting to allow body piercing and tattoo studios in the HB district. Currently they are not permitted in Carolina Beach. The Town has denied previous requests for this type of business-use.
Parvin pointed to meetings in 1995 and 2002. He explained, "Based on those discussions... the tattoo studios and body piercing was not considered in keeping with a family oriented boardwalk and Central Business District (CBD). Historically the Town has wanted the niche of the CBD to be retail shopping, restaurants, entertainment and some services oriented to the beach."
Parvin explained to the Planning Commission in a memo earlier this week, "This issue has been reviewed with Mr. Broadfoot and he agrees that the HB district would be better suited for body piercing and tattoo studios."
He explained, "In some communities these uses are prevalent in poor areas and associated with crime and health issues. For that reason many town's are hesitant to open up allowances for these activities. However, most states have already mitigated these concerns by adopting strict health guidelines and zoning laws. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Environmental Health Division, has stringent health regulations in place as well as laws preventing minors from receiving tattoos."
Parvin explained, "Local governments are tasked with determining whether they want the use in their community and where they think the uses would be best located. Limitations can be placed on these uses similar to how Town Council has limited other uses that are often part of a community but not wanted in prevalence due to potential negative impacts" such as electronic gaming operations.
Parvin explained the Planning Department recommends if the Town would like to consider allowances for tattoo studios and body piercing then zoning regulations could be added to mitigate potential negatives with the uses. He explained, "Distance requirements are an effective way to create limits that the Town has utilized with electronic gaming operations, adult entertainment and also at one time for bars."
He explained, "Also, similar to restaurants, staff has inserted a requirement that a conditional use permit shall be required if alcohol was proposed to be served. Additional regulations could be inserted in the proposed ordinance to place further limits on the use if Town Council wishes."
Parvin added, "Finally the Town may want to consider setting a privilege license fee associated with this use. Right now the uses are not specified so they would fall under gross receipts. For example, Winston Salem and Surf City both set $1,000" for fee.
The Planning and Zoning Commission will consider the request at their Thursday December 13, meeting starting at 7PM at Town Hall.