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Hayden council splits on tattoo shop move

by David Cole
| June 9, 2010 9:00 PM

HAYDEN - A majority vote Tuesday night by the Hayden City Council cleared the way for Dan's Tattoo Shop to move a couple doors north on Government Way from its current location right behind the Zip's Drive Thru.

The council voted 3-1 to allow the move, with City Councilwoman Jeri DeLange voting against it.

When shop owners began the paperwork process necessary to make the move from one location to another within the city's "central business district," they were surprised to find that city staff members said no.

"Given that tattoo parlors are not listed as either permitted or special uses within the central business district, staff has determined that tattoo parlors are not permitted," according to a June 1 letter to the City Council from Lisa Key, the city's community development director.

The tattoo shop owners appealed that determination, putting it on the City Council's agenda.

The shop owners wanted to move to a smaller space to save money in the down economy, Dan Golebiewski told the council Tuesday night. Golebiewski is managing member of the shop, now located at 9306 N. Government Way.

The shop had secured its current location there with a special use permit issued in October 2006, but that was prior to the city's adoption of its central business district ordinance.

City staff found that in a "commercial zone," city code treats tattoo shops as a "special class" of service businesses.

Golebiewski argued that tattoo shops are not a special class, but simply a "permitted use" as a general retail sales and services operation within the central business district.

City code concerning the central business district doesn't specifically name tattoo shops as either a permitted use or a special use, leaving it unclear how to treat such a business within the district, city documents show.

To allow for the move, the City Council had to find that tattoo shops are among those businesses considered general retail sales and services operations within the city's central business district, and therefore a permitted use.

Councilwoman Nancy Lowery argued that Dan's has been a longtime business in Hayden and should be allowed to make the move.

"I don't think it's our job to be the moral police," Lowery said.

DeLange argued that the city's treatment of tattoo shops in the commercial and central business districts should be consistent.

"I have a concern," DeLange said.

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