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Planning Commission To Consider Rezoning; Permit For Tattoo Parlor

Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH - The Carolina Beach Planning and Zoning Commission will consider a request to rezone a portion of property at 907 N. Lake Park Blvd from residential R-1 to commercial highway business district at their September 12, meeting at 6:30PM.
The applicant, Justin LaNasa, is requesting a zoning map amendment to change approximately 13,615 square feet from R-1 to HB zoning.
LaNasa is also proposing to amend the 45' height overlay district to locate it outside the proposed Highway Business District.
LaNasa also applied for a conditional use permit to open "Tattoo Hardwire" at 807 N. Lake Park Blvd. The Planning Commission will consider the rezoning request at their September 12, meeting and make a recommendation to the Town Council for review at the Council's October meeting.
The application for a conditional use permit will come after the rezoning request and is not listed on the Planning Commission's September 12, agenda.
In order to open a business offering tattoo services, the location must be more than 200' feet from a residential district, school, church, public parks, playgrounds or libraries. They must be more than 400' feet from another tattoo business.
According to Town Senior Planner Jeremy Hardison, the request is a small triangle shaped portion of the lot located at 907 North Lake Park Blvd. The property is currently split zoned with the majority (96,421 square feet) of the property located in the Highway Business zoning district.
According to Hardison, "It appears that the Highway Business District boundary was somewhat arbitrarily set at 400' from Lake Park Blvd in this section of Town. The boundary line splits the parcel at an angle."
He explained, "The property is the site of the Microtel Inn. It was approved by Town Council in 2001 and developed as a HB zoned property. A portion of the building and the storm water pond serving the site is in the R-1 zoning district. Section 2.3 (6) of the Town's zoning ordinance instructs that "In the event that a district boundary line on the zoning map divides a platted lot held in one ownership on the date of passage of this ordinance, each part of the lot so divided shall be used in conformity with the district in which each part is located."
Hardison explained, "Knowing this staff should have required a rezoning when the Microtel came forward for a Conditional Use Permit. We can only speculate as to why this did not occur. It is possible that this was an oversight since, at the time of approval, the town was using a paper zoning map and it was challenging to determine lot lines in relationship to zoning boundaries in certain situations."
To the north of the area is a 10 lot single-family subdivision named Colonial Circle developed prior to the Microtel Inn. To the west of the area to be rezoned is the R-2 residential zoning district. To the east and south, the area abuts the Highway Business District  where the hotel and parking lot exist.
Hardison explained, "According to Article 22.7... the applicant shall be prohibited from offering any testimony or evidence concerning the specific manner in which he intends to use or develop the property. The purpose of this section of the ordinance is to emphasize that zoning map amendments open the land up to all the uses in the new zoning district and are not tied to a specific project. In other words, if rezoned the property will be able to be redeveloped or in this instance the land is already developed, however, expanding the HB will have additional impact on the area. For instance, some uses have adverse secondary impacts (i.e. bars, electronic gaming operations, tattoo studios.)"
Hardison explained, "The ability to have one of these uses increases with expanding the size of HB."
Hardison explained the 2007 Land Use Plan analysis shows the Land Classification Map does not support the zoning map amendment. He explained, "This is also likely an oversight. It would be beneficial to have zoning boundaries follow property lines as this would simplify how the property could be redeveloped."
He explained, "Approving this rezoning would allow more of the intense commercial zoned areas... to be directly adjacent to a residential areas" such as the existing hotel.
Hardison said the Planning Department recommends, "The Land Classification map has this area designated residential, but staff recommends rezoning the area to HB for the following reasons. The property has already been developed as commercial and the R-1 portion of the lot is contiguous with the HB portion. This will give the existing developed commercial property one zoning classification that fits the current use. The residential area is not adjacent to a right-of-way and does not lend itself to be developed differently than the HB portion of the lot."
LaNasa applied for the zoning map amendment on August 7th, 2013.
On August 9th, LaNasa applied for a conditional use permit to open "Tattoo Hardwire" at 807 North Lake Park Blvd.
Without the zoning amendment, the requirement that tattoo shops be located 200 feet or more from a residential zoning district would not permit locating such an operation at that address.
The Planning Commission will consider the rezoning request at their September 12, meeting at 6:30PM at Town Hall in the Council meeting room.
The Carolina Beach Town Council voted at their January 8, meeting to allow tattoo studios in the Highway Business District (Lake Park Blvd).
The Council voted three to two in favor of permitting them as a Conditional Use. New studios will have to first obtain a Conditional Use Permit and meet certain conditions including hours of operation from 8AM to 9PM and a certain distance from residential districts and other uses. Those permits are reviewed by the Planning and Zoning Commission and then by the Town Council who ultimately approves or denies issuing a permit.
The Council held a public hearing on the controversial issue of permitting a new tattoo shop in the Pleasure Island Plaza on North Lake Park Blvd at their April 9th, meeting.
The Council voted three to two with Mayor Bob Lewis and Council members Steve Shuttleworth and Jody Smith voting in favor of the permit. Council members Sarah Friede and Tom Bridges voted against permitting the tattoo shop.