GULF SHORES, Ala. (WALA) - The City of Gulf Shores is working on an ordinance that would better regulate tattoo and body piercing businesses.
Back in January, the Gulf Shores City Council approved a moratorium on issuing business licenses to similar shops as it worked to vote on zoning regulations.
Mayor Robert Craft said the city wants to maintain a family friendly image.
"We're a family oriented community here, and we're also dealing with a lot of any other issues, obscenity type issues or public displays that are not suitable for a family type of environment," he said.
Several cities in Baldwin County including Fairhope , Daphne and Spanish Fort are considering similar restrictions.
The original ordinance proposed would push new tattoo businesses north of the inter-coastal waterway and require they setup shop at least 1,000 feet from each other.
City leaders said those are only suggestions and they are currently reviewing other alternatives.
Mayor Craft said the city wants to prevent these and any businesses for that matter, from gathering in one central location. He said too many similar businesses in one area would create a district.
"You're bringing a specific group of people to town that have a specific interest. Now, whether or not that's good or bad for the city – that's up to the council to decide," Craft said.
Sherrie Hawkins, who manages David's Art Gallery, in Gulf Shores believes the ordinance is a bad idea.
"Tattoos these days are mainstream. We have 80 year olds getting tattoos," she said.
Although the gallery she works for would be grandfathered-in, Hawkins said the move would still affect the business; adding that the industry as a whole is legitimate and in demand.
"We do live in a hurricane zone; so if our building gets damaged or we lose our lease, we're out of luck. You know, we've been in business for almost 40 years," Hawkins said.
City leaders said they are looking into the legality of the proposed ordinance and plan to discuss it in the coming weeks.
Mayor Craft also said he is seeking input from the public.
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