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Tattoo Parlor Trying to Come to Mt. Airy

An application for a tattoo parlor came to the WMAN zoning board Wednesday.

A tattoo parlor could be coming to Mt. Airy, if a late November city zoning meeting rules in its favor.

Two Northeast business owners presented an application that would, if approved by city zoning officials, bring a tattoo parlor to the 7100 block of Germantown Avenue in Mt. Airy.

One of the shop's owners, Eric Flynn, said that he saw a need for a tattoo parlor on the Avenue.

"It's a diverse neighborhood but there isn't a tattoo place here," he said. "This seems like a really artistic neighborhood."

For Flynn to be able to move his parlor into the neighborhood, the city zoning board will have to allow an exception for his shop to operate in a building that is zoned residential.

According to Flynn, the parlor would be open from 12 to 8 p.m. on weekdays, and that he would be willing to augment the shop's hours on Sunday to accommodate church crowds.

"We don't want to be somewhere we aren't wanted, but I think we'd be a great benefit to the community," he said.

Flynn presented the board with a letter of support from Reverend Aisha Brooks at Mt. Airy Presbyterian Church, which is adjacent to the proposed tattoo parlor.

"I think that, in the current cultural climate, there would be no problem with a parlor in a church on the same corner," she said in her letter.

Board chair Ralph Pinkus said that the zoning board would review the application before making a recommendation, but cautioned Flynn that the city zoning board might have more intensive questions.

"Be prepared," he said. "You've told us you wouldn't be an offensive use, but be prepared for the coming hearing and having to satisfy zoning criteria."

The tattoo parlor will appear before the city zoning board at the end of the month.

SP November 28, 2012 at 08:46 AM
I did a little research and learned that tattoo parlors have a history of being linked with gang violence and warring biker gangs, nationwide & worldwide. A simple search brings up a number of articles about gang violence at tattoo conventions, and shootings at tattoo parlors, usually linked with gang culture, and mentions of tattoo parlors that are used as gang headquarters. A police dept. in Georgia even set up a "mock" tattoo place to bust gangs. "Business was slow at first, but then things took off. Gang members soon began dropping in to sell guns, drugs and even stolen cars, authorities said." Maybe that is why some people have concerns about having a tattoo parlor in the neighborhood, & that is where the perception comes from that this business may be one that might bring in patrons with anti social behavior.
SP November 28, 2012 at 09:05 AM
To Shirley: "Fly Ny" stated a simple fact, some businesses have dress codes that rule out tattoos. Fly Ny didn't say whether he/she actually owns the business, although that is possible. It could be a bank, or a restaurant, or an insurance company, who knows? There is no reason to attack someone's screen name, and why on earth would you say "shame on you" to someone who says "in my line of work there is a dress code." ???
Shirley November 28, 2012 at 05:25 PM
I think overall tattoo parlors come with the stigma of anti-social behavior because that's always been attached to such ventures. I'm just for opening up our strip mall so that every store is occupied which means revenue for the community. And with every storefront occupied, more people would likely come to spend their money on a thriving business corridor than one that has emptiness abounding. If the owner has offered his business plan and it is within the guidelines that are acceptable for the Mt. Airy Business Association, the start-up should be given a chance. Personally, I don't think any more 'anti-socials' would be hanging around more so than already do further down the Ave in front of the pizza parlor since it now sells beer or more than the patrons who fraternize at the restaurant across the street especially the ones who hang out front because they wish to smoke. Just fill up all the empty stores so the Ave is bustling once again. The length of its stay will only be dictated by the amount of business and today's tattoo shops normally only work by appointment so waiting outside/walk-ins are not the norm with today's tattoo parlors. Let's get the Ave fully occupied, folks!
Breeanna Williams December 09, 2012 at 10:18 PM
Wow! I have lived in east and west mt. Airy for my entire life and i never knew there were so many old stick in the muds! This is actually a bit disturbing. Having a tattoo shop on Germantown ave would do nothing but bring in business and to all of you people that like to stereotype people that have tattoos you are no better than someone that is racist, bigoted, or homophobic. I went to a private school, college and have a decent job that pays my bills and takes care of my family...and guess what..i have 3 tattoos....none of which anyone can see just by looking at me....i must say as diverse as Mt. Airy is, if you don't like people with tattoos or think a tattoo parlor is only for the hood parts of Philly then maybe you should move!
SP December 10, 2012 at 01:32 AM
Breeanna, you don't seem to have read these posts very carefully. Where are you seeing "so many old stick in the muds"? Exactly ONE person here opposed the tattoo parlor. One other person said his line of work has a dress code, & another agreed. Everyone else commenting here expressed SUPPORT for the tattoo parlor. Not one person said ANYTHING about "not liking" people with tattoos. I've been raising questions, trying to learn about what people think and why. I didn't actually express an opinion about a tattoo parlor. I heard some concerns from neighbors, did some research to find out why, and found many news articles from around the country about gang violence associated with tattoo parlors. That's not bigoted, and it's not opinion, it's simple fact. It doesn't mean that will happen here, it's just a reason why some people have concerns.

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