PRINCESS ANNE — Town Commissioners are expected to schedule a first-reader vote on an amended tattoo parlor ordinance at their December meeting and also decide whether or not they want to schedule the second reader and final vote at a special meeting two weeks later or wait until January 2022.
The commissioners by consensus during work sessions removed language from the ordinance that requires the tattoo artist to be a physician or osteopath or work under their direct supervision.
The business owner and manager would instead be required to be certified in bloodborne pathogens, CPR and first aid.
Unchanged is the requirement that these shops be allowed only in General Commercial C-2 zones after approval by the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA).
Permitting would be required, which town attorney Paul Wilber said is proposed to be one-time only unless the commissioners vote for it to be annual or some other periodic basis. The fee, by majority consensus at the November work session, was suggested to be $25, although Town Manager Clayton Anderson said that would not cover the cost of processing an application.
The changes to the tattoo ordinance were requested in September by Studio Ink owner Robert West who cannot open his business in the Princess Anne Village because he is not a physician and there is no doctor on staff.
The current ordinance, adopted in 2006, was viewed as archaic and purposely enacted to prevent tattoo shops from opening in town.
Mr. West has been frustrated by the slowness of the text amendment process and had presented his own revisions to the ordinance several weeks ago. It was hoped that the changes accepted by consensus at the October work session would have been written into a draft ordinance in time for the Nov. 1 regular meeting but instead the matter was back on the commissioners’ work session agenda Nov. 15.
When it was mentioned at the work session that a final vote may now not come until Jan. 3, Mr. West raised his head and looked up to the ceiling realizing he could be another month away from making his application for a permit and scheduling a public hearing before the BZA.
If the commissioners choose, Mr. Wilber said, they could hold a special session at the Dec. 20 work session and take their final vote at that time.
The town is required to advertise the ordinance for a public hearing after the first reader. Likewise a public hearing before the BZA would be advertised.
Primal Tattoo, a shop operated by Kip Grangier, recently relocated from a unit at King's Creek Market to a house across from Pure Word Bible Church but since that is in the county it is not subject to any of the municipality's requirements.