2017-01-19 / Front Page

Village turns down tattoo parlor zoning change

OKs new member for Zoning Board of Appeals
By Paula K. Schmidt
810-452-2647 • pschmidt@mihomepaper.com

GOODRICH — In October 2016, following a public hearing on the matter, the Goodrich Planning Commission voted to recommend approval of a zoning change for tattoo parlors to the village council. The motion would have allowed parlors to be located in the General Business District, but not the Central Business District and would have come with restrictions as to the hours of operation and signage.

Later that month, the council voted to accept the commission’s recommendation and approved it, over the objection of Councilman Jacob Vick who said, it should be subject to another public hearing, which is correct according to the charter.

In November, after looking into it, the council did rescind the motion, because Vick pointed out they had scheduled the public hearing notice only four days prior, when the law requires 30 days’ notice.

At their December meeting, they scheduled the public hearing for Jan. 11 when they also met in regular session. During the public hearing two residents spoke in favor of the move, one being Dave Jones, who owns property in the proposed district and was originally approached with the idea of a tattoo parlor.

Jones said he called multiple municipalities in the county and nearby and found they all had tattoo parlors slotted for their general business districts, not industrial as in Goodrich.

“I think that’s a huge injustice,” Jones said. Even thought that client was long gone, he added, “If I ever have the opportunity again, I would like to be able to at least pursue it.” Resident Sally Sophia also spoke.

“I feel that stereotypes are not what we want to stand on. I don’t think any of you could say if I have a tattoo. I take care of my parents, I’m not a bad person, and I do (have tattoos),” Sophia added. She indicated the council probably couldn’t name a single tattoo parlor in all the municipalities Jones had named that was a problem.

Doug McAbee, former council member and resident spoke against the move, stating, “I don’t think this town’s big enough for a tattoo parlor,” and adding if the council went door to door most of the residents would indicate they didn’t want a tattoo parlor. ‘Only here in this building will you find support for a tattoo parlor—it’s very narrow,” he added. “I think we should stay away from it, we don’t want to be typecast…because what comes next?

The council voted to not allow the change. There is a small parcel of what appears to be vacant industrial land in the village, just north of the post office. The council also granted the Parks and Recreation committee the authority to pursue grants through the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Chair of the committee, Angie Adamec said they had two proposals for the grant, one being a handicap accessible ramp from Hegel Rd. down to the main area of Goodrich Commons park, or a ‘pocket park’ to be located in the 10000 block of Huron Rd. beside the millpond. The pocket park would include a handicap accessible dock and possibly other amenities that would make the pond accessible to the public at large.

The grants would require matching funds, or donations in kind according to Adamec, but applying for the grants does not commit the funds from the village, only indicates a willingness to provide funds if voted on in the future.

The village offices will be getting a high school intern who will help answer phones and do filing whole learning how a municipal office operates according to Councilwoman Shannon McCafferty.

The move comes some months after the village denied allowing council member’s keys to the office, stating it would be a security risk for the files that are stored there.

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