The village board of Libertyville, IL, hears about tattoo parlors and apparently envisions seedy, run-down places that stay open all hours of the night to service beer-swigging bikers and their leather-clad lady friends. And in order to keep this stereotype from being shattered, they recently changed their zoning laws to smash one businessman’s dream.
Earlier this week, after getting word that a new tattoo parlor was set to open up in Libertyville’s downtown neighborhood, the village board met to figure out a way to legislate the business out of town.
Tattoo parlors are classified as “personal service” businesses according to Libertyville’s village code. So to keep the new ink outlet from opening, the board voted unanimously for a moratorium on all personal service businesses in the downtown area.
The 29-year-old tattooist, who had leased a location and was ready to put up his sign, attempted in vain to convince the board that tattoos are no longer just for criminals and sailors and that his business would fit in with the area. The studio would have also had a gallery to sell the works of local artists.
But, sayeth the Libertyville mayor:
It is my personal opinion that it is not a good idea to have a tattoo parlor downtown… Two of my three kids have tattoos. I understand it is common among younger people and I was impressed with [the parlor owner's] presentation.
I think he is a very smart, talented young man… It has nothing to do with him. It is just a question of if this is an appropriate location.
The village board’s senior member was even more patronizing in telling the studio owner why she was nixing the idea. “Everyone might not carry your same moral fiber,” she said, “and that is what is driving my desire… I’m definitely not comfortable [with a tattoo shop] in downtown.”
What I’d like to know is: What happens to all the other “personal service” businesses that are currently located or slated to open in the downtown area?
No tattoos for you in downtown Libertyville [Triblocal.com]