ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (WALA) - A public hearing is scheduled for April 17 in the city of Orange Beach. The hot topic: tattoo parlors.
An ordinance proposed by the planning commission would expand the current ordinance on tattoo parlors, body piercing studios, palm readers, pawn shops, and non-chartered financial institutions even more.
Christine Mikitaw doesn't mind tattoo parlors. For one thing, she's a graphic artist and said tattoos are looked at differently than they used to be.
"Tattoos are a general thing these days. It's not just the hoodlums and vagrants that have tattoos, there are executives with tattoos. I have a nose ring and it never stopped me," Mikitaw said.
Another reason, Mikitaw said, it is because of the money the shops could generate. Mikitaw said personal responsibility of shop owners also plays a role.
"I think it would be up to the tattoo studio owner to govern what is going on and keeping the peace and make sure they uphold professional appearance and business practice," said
The issue has been up in the air in Orange Beach for more than a year. The new ordinance would require that shops like tattoo parlors must be at least 1,500 feet from residential zoned areas, schools, and public parks. If it was up to Orange Beach Mayor Tony Kennon, there wouldn't be any of these shops at all.
"I don't want any of the crime that goes along with these establishments and I don't want the image they present," said Kennon.
Kennon said shops like tattoo parlors don't fit the "brand" of Orange Beach.
"I've gotten an earful and the views of our community are in line with our ordinance so I feel good about what we're doing," said Kennon.
Others said they feel that the ordinance goes too far.
"People go on vacation, they get a little dolphin tattoo on their ankle ... I don't think that's bad," said Mikitaw.
Orange Beach becomes the latest city in Baldwin County to consider a crackdown on tattoo parlors, joining Fairhope and Gulf Shores.
The current ordinance says those businesses must stay at least 500-feet away from residential areas, schools, and public parks.
The new ordinance would add a thousand feet onto that, meaning those businesses would need to be at least 1,500 ft. away.
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