Harlem City Council is saying no to tattoo shops in the Downtown area.
Monday night council held their second reading on whether or not “body art” shops should be allowed inside city limits.
City Manager Jason Rizner said someone came to them a while back asking if they could build a tattoo parlor in Harlem.
Rizner says the council had never encountered a question like this and so they had to take some time to research.
On Monday night leaders decided they would not allow tattoo shops inside historic downtown Harlem.
Rizner says these body art shops would be allowed within the B2, B3 areas, on the outskirts of downtown Harlem. Anyone hoping to open one of these shops would have to go through the proper planning and development process in order to get permission.
While some people like the small town feel Harlem has to offer, others think the city is doing itself a disservice by not bringing in more business.
“Harlem has a very traditional onset and look on how life should operate, and it’s not quite good for the current generation it’s holding us back and it’s holding the city of Harlem back itself,” resident, Christopher Carroll said.
Longtime resident Christopher Carroll says many businesses don’t last long in the downtown area leaving several shops vacant. He says, a change could be good for the area.
“Because of how other towns are set, they have traditional values, but they have expanded to fit the current generation, but the city of Harlem itself has even installed historic districts, so that it is impossible to expand,” Carroll explained.
Rizner says they do want to expand the area, but zoning is important because it categorizes what businesses fit best where.
“I think we absolutely want to grow business and we’re excited about some of the growth we have seen recently from the growth at Fort Gordon and we’re definitely excited about that,” Rizner said.