Mesa set to ink new tattoo rules

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Mesa set to ink new tattoo rules

Mesa’s City Council is on the verge of relinquishing its authority to decide whether a tattoo parlor can set up shop in the city. The Mesa City Council will vote on an ordinance allowing tattoo and body-piercing shops “by right” in areas zoned for commercial and industrial uses.

Mesa’s City Council is on the verge of relinquishing its authority to decide whether a tattoo parlor can set up shop in the city.

The council will vote Monday, June 2, on an ordinance allowing tattoo and body-piercing shops "by right" in areas zoned for commercial and industrial uses.

Gone will be the requirement that such shops obtain a council-use permit even if they meet all other zoning requirements.

That requirement gave the council discretion to reject a shop on purely subjective or speculative grounds, such as fear that it could damage a neighborhood’s quality of life.

It led to several lively debates over the years over particular applications, with some approvals and at least one notable denial.

Ryan and Laeticia Coleman sought permission in 2009 to open a shop in the Albertson’s-anchored strip mall at Dobson and Baseline roads.But after listening to pleas from Dobson Ranch residents worried about crime and the neighborhood’s image, the council voted 6-1 to reject the shop. Then-Mayor Scott Smith was the sole yes vote, saying no one had proved the shop would be a detriment.The denial triggered years of litigation.The Colemans, backed by the libertarian Goldwater Institute, sued Mesa, asserting that tattooing is protected under the First Amendment’s guarantee of […]

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