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N. Charleston city council looks to allow tattoo shops to open i - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

N. Charleston city council looks to allow tattoo shops to open in city

(Photo Source: Live 5) (Photo Source: Live 5)
North Charleston zoning map. "Light Industrial" is the light pink area. (Source: North Charleston) North Charleston zoning map. "Light Industrial" is the light pink area. (Source: North Charleston)
NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

You could see tattoo shops pop up in North Charleston over the next few years.

North Charleston city council looked at changing the zoning ordinance to allow these businesses to set up shop during Thursday’s council meeting.
Right now there aren't any shops open within the city.

The council referred the ordinance to the public safety committee Thursday night. 

There are a handful of tattoo shops that operate in Charleston.

Clients travel from all over to get their tattoos in Charleston and even Summerville.

However if North Charleston city council decides to allow shops in the city, it could mean more competition.

"I'm sure that some people will want to go somewhere else or try something new, but a lot of my clients come to me for the quality of the tattoos I put out," said Broken Lantern owner Glenn Collins.

Collins’ shop is located in West Ashley.

Originally he was looking at opening up his business in North Charleston. Since they aren't allowed, he couldn't. Now city council will look at change that.

"Tattoo parlors, I mean it doesn't really bother me,” said Charlene Cox, of North Charleston. “I've got one on my leg.”

"I'm for it, I'm for it,” said Martin Powe, of North Charleston. “I think it's a good way for people to express themselves with the artistry of it."

If the changes in the ordinance are approved the shops would be able to set up in, "light industrial areas."

Those areas include around the airport, and even by the railroad tracks off Piggly Wiggly Drive.

"Off the beaten path, kind of tucked away, not where there's a road where there's heavy traffic where people would be able to see you," Collins said.

"When I lived in Florida we had them at every corner there,” Cox said. “When I came here it was like bootlegging, out of the ordinary here."

The ordinance states shops can't be within one-thousand feet of churches, schools, public parks, or residential neighborhoods.

However, Collins feels this kind of business should be treated like any other.

"It should be general business like everyone else,” he said. “We provide a service so why can't we be in the part of the community that provides a service for everyone else like the barber shop, hair dresser."

North Charleston city staff has recommended council approve the changes to the "light industrial zone".

Thursday was the first reading of the amended ordinance. Council will have to take further action in the future.

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