Knox City Council members want more information before deciding whether to relax regulations on where tattoo parlors can be located. The current city ordinance, which was adopted in 2009, requires tattoo parlor operators to receive a permit from the city. It further states, “The location shall be at least 500 feet from any property used for school purposes, licensed day care center, church, public park, or a place licensed for the sale of alcoholic beverages.”
That restriction encompasses most of downtown Knox. Councilman Tim Manns says he would like to see the ordinance thrown out in order to help revitalize the once thriving downtown business district.
Former Councilman Greg Matt also attended last night’s meeting to weigh in on the issue. He co-authored the existing law, in part to preserve the integrity of the downtown historic district. It encompasses the area from Mound Street to the railroad tracks and Pearl Street to Shield Street.
He adds many of the former storefronts in downtown Knox need extensive repairs due to years of neglect and are not ideal business locations in their current condition.
Mayor Dennis Estok suggested the council table the matter in order to research historic district regulations. He did gather information from several other communities regarding tattoo parlors and says they were able to address problems through code enforcement.