Board remands discussion on tattoo parlor in Lincolnwood
by JASON MEREL
The Lincolnwood Village Board of Trustees at its meeting Feb. 4 remanded back to the Plan Commission for further deliberation the issue of allowing tattoo parlors to be permitted in the M-B Manufacturing and Business District through a special use in the village.
The case was opened last year when a Lincolnwood property owner asked the village to consider a zoning text amendment to clarify the permissibility of tattoo parlors or "dermal pigmentation establishments" in commercial districts. The petitioner wants to open a business near Touhy and Crawford avenues to operate a "high end" tattoo business.
At the Feb. 4 meeting, several residents supported allowing the tattoo business in Lincolnwood.
The only mention of this type of use in the village code prohibits the use in B-1 Traditional Business zoning districts with a business/ residential transition overlay. However, the zoning ordinance is unclear about this use in other zoning districts. The property owner asking the question applied for a business license within the B-2 General Business zoning district.
At the Oct. 2 meeting of the Committee of the Whole, trustees asked the petitioner about the operation of a tattoo parlor and discussed whether this type of business should be qualified as a "personal services establishment" for special use variations. The petitioner explained that although there are additional licensing requirements from the State of Illinois designed to minimize blood-borne illnesses, tattoo parlors operate similarly to other personal service establishments such as hair salons.
The board referred the case to the Plan Commission and the commission found that there is no reason to treat tattoo parlors differently than other personal service establishments from a regulatory perspective. The Plan Commission unanimously approved a motion recommending amending the zoning ordinance definition of "personal services establishment" to include "dermal pigmentation establishments," and include a definition for a "dermal pigmentation establishment" as "any establishment, except a hospital or other facility operated by a licensed medical practitioner, where the act of puncturing the skin and inserting indelible colors to create a permanent or semi-permanent pigmentation or color is performed."
The village board then referred the matter to the Committee for Ordinances, Rules and Boards (CORB) for further discussion in November and village staff received a petition signed by 40 Lincolnwood residents opposing tattoo parlors in the village.
During the Jan. 23 CORB meeting, trustees discussed appropriate locations for "dermal pigmentation establishments" in Lincolnwood and a motion was passed to recommend that the board remand the case back to the Plan Commission for another public hearing regarding the proposed M-B zoning district special use.
Trustee Jesal Patel said at the Feb. 4 meeting that he wanted to get the issue resolved quicker.
"When we remand from commission to board and board back to commission it wastes time. I’d rather do it here at the village board level already," Patel said.