Midlothian City Council approved an ordinance that would allow residents to get inked after defining the parameters of a body art studio at its Monday night meeting.
The proposed ordinance, which will allow both tattoo studios and minor cosmetic procedures, passed in a 5-2 vote with council members Mike Rodgers and Jimmie McClure voting in opposition.
Planning manager Marcos Narvaez told the council a full-scope body art studio would include services such as tattooing and body piercing. He also detailed limited service options, which could be done inside a beauty salon, nail salon, or an office of a person licensed by the Texas Medical Board if it is considered to be for cosmetic use. Tattooing for cosmetic uses is restricted to the application of permanent makeup and limited to the face. It can only occupy up-to 15 percent of the business’s floor space.
Narvaez explained that body art studios would require a specific use permit and could only be in the commercial, light industrial, medium industrial, and heavy industrial zoning districts. They would have to adhere to non-residential zoning standards and be set back 1,000 feet from any other body art studio, church, school, daycare or residential zoning district.
Members of the public addressed the council to show their support for this type of business but were in opposition to the restrictions placed on where this business could operate within the city.
Prospective business operator Shawn Smith addressed the council stating that the restrictions in the ordinance are not feasible to successfully run this type of business.
“What we're talking about the zoning and the 15 percent for the microblading you must have a tattoo license. You just can’t be a nail salon and do microblading at 15 percent of the floor (space)," Smith explained. "To get that license from the state you must have a letter from the zoning committee where you’re at saying that you’re zoned for tattoo. You can’t say I am going to do a little bit here and be ok.”
Morgan Poole told the council that this type of business that is looking to open its doors in the city is not your normal tattoo shop and will be something that the community can be proud to have here.
“I have heard all sorts of stuff on social media about crime and bikers and all this other stuff. The crime is already in Midlothian. We are getting bigger it is going to come no matter what,” Poole said. “As far as bikers there is one percent that is bad. One percent. There are people like the Gryphons that do the Ellis County Toy Run and the Bikers for Christ. I know several of them and they are pretty amazing people.”
Poole continued, stating that after visiting with Smith she learned that the shop he wants to open is going to be very upscale and his artwork is truly amazing.
Resident Dustin Slaton expressed to the council that he thought the language in the proposed ordinance was too restrictive and this type of business would add to — and not detract from — the community.
“I would like to see the zoning lessoned on it t to get the chance to have a studio next to my barbershop. I think that it would be helpful to my business,” Slaton said. “I am going to have a classy, upscale barbershop and looking at his pictures of what the mockup of his tattoo (shop) it is going to be classy and upscale too. I don’t think that is going to invite unsavory or bad people. You are more likely to see something inappropriate from a bar or restaurant verse a tattoo shop.”
Slaton noted that this type of business already has a lot of rules in place they have to abide by such as health code regulations, which would regulate its operations.
Mayor Bill Houston told the crowd gathered in the council chambers that nine people were in support of the business but did not wish to speak at the meeting.
In other business the council:
Approved a resolution authorizing a community Easter Egg Hunt to be hosted by the city on March 24. Approved a resolution authorizing the Rowdy Run 5K event hosted by the Midlothian ISD Education Foundation set for April 21. Approved a resolution authorizing the Shamrock Shimmy 5K hosted by the Navarro College Student Government Association set for March 3. Approved a resolution amending the authorized representatives for TexPool and designating investment officers. Approved a resolution amending and restating the development and use regulation of planned development district located at the southwest corner of U.S. Highway 287 and Farm-to-Market Road 663. Approved an ordinance amending the use and development regulations of a planned development district 21 by amending the garage door setback regulations for a lot located at 3613 Barby Court in Midlothian. Approved an ordinance amending the city’s comprehensive plan’s future land use relating to the use and development of 13.454 acres located south of Mockingbird Lane and east of Walnut Grove Road changing the land use designation from the rural module to suburban module. Approved an ordinance amending and restating the development regulations of planned development district 101 including the addition of the beauty and barber shop use as a permitted on a lot located on West Avenue between South Fifth and South Fourth Street. Approved a right-of-use license and hold harmless agreement for the use of the southern 26 feet of the right-of-way for West Avenue H adjacent to the 203 South Fifth Street for parking. Approved a resolution authorizing the Spring and Arts Festival, which is hosted by the Midlothian Chamber of Commerce, scheduled for April 28. Approved an agreement for professional services with Freese and Nichols, Inc. for civil engineering services for the Midlothian Fire Department training facility for $60,000.