The Athens City Council Monday stopped short of allowing tattoo and body piercing in the Central Business District, unless the business gets a specific use permit.
The council conducted a final reading of an ordinance concerning a request to amend the zoning use chart in the City Code of Ordinances to allow, by right, tattoo or body piercing businesses in Retail, Central Business District, and Industrial zoning districts.
Director of Development Services Audrey Sloan said before granting a specific use permit, the council can look at things like the site plan, the business plan, hours of operation, nature of activities on the site and make additional stipulations.
“Essentially, you’re approving the use on a case by case basis by location per proposed activities on the site,” Sloan said.
Councilman Mark Carroll said the signage on the front of the business would make a difference.
If the signage presented the business as a hair salon or beauty shop, with tattoos or body piercing as among the services offered, that would be different from posting a sign saying “Tony’s Tattoos.”
“I don’t think that’s where we’re heading in the long range plan for downtown,” Carroll said.
In other action the council:
• heard Fire Chief Russell; Marshall concerning the American Heart Association Mission Lifeline® – EMS Teams Gold Plus Award presented to Athens Fire / Rescue;
• reappointed Cliff Bomer, Randy Jones, and Danny Tidmore to the Athens Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors;
• approved a Resolution adopting Athens Economic Development Corporation’s Annual Operating Budget for Fiscal Year 2022, with a change allocating $100,000 for professional services for planning a spec building in the Athens Industrial Park instead of budgeting $650,000 to construct the building;
• approved final reading of an Ordinance concerning a site plan amendment for a lot at 6096 US Highway 175 West, where a gas station, convenience store and restaurant are to be built;
• approved a final reading of an Ordinance amending Chapter 23 Fees and Cost of Services for the City of Athens Code of Ordinances and
• voted to increase Cain Center staffing by adding a full time employee at a cost $47,000 in salary and benefits.