No Tattoos Yet, But A Vote To Review The Regulations

The first vote against their application for tattoo services was a disappointment to the Alberinos, but the PZC decided in a second vote that the out-of-date regs could use a second look.

After two public hearings which included , the vote by the Planning & Zoning Commission (PZC) to deny was a disappointment to Edward and Lisa Alberino.

Edward Alberino said he was upset by the vote initially, but has since taken a step back and reviewed the situation.

"I agree with the commission on their ruling," he said. "I look forward to the upcoming public hearing where we can look at some of these old regulations."

Alberino said he's old enough to remember town regulations that did not permit stores to be open on Sundays and other out-dated laws.

The PZC agreed as well, and voted 4-1 to hold a public hearing to review this particular zoning regulation regarding tattoo parlors.

The public hearing is scheduled for Monday, April 2 at 7pm at town hall.

The reason for the review, said members of the PZC, is that tattoo parlors fall under adult entertainment services and have rules such as they can't be within 1,000 feet of a day care facility, school, church, convent and/or synagogue. Or "where numbers of minors regularly travel or frequent."

The dilemma, said PZC member Anselmo Delia, is what does the regulation really mean? 

"Should it be considered differently and if so, are we are going to enforce the regulations or not?" he asked.

PZC member Michael Rossi said that the commission must follow the regulations which in essence equates tattoo parlors with adult entertainment.  

"We might need to change these," said Rossi of the regulations. "Right now, if we are to approve this under these regulations, anyone in town opposed to it would have an easy appeal."

Another commission member brought up the fact that a person who spoke against the application at the first public hearing runs a business across the street for school age children.

PZC member Mark Rapuano disagreed noting that the regulation stated the words, “as determined by the commission.” 

"We have the right to determine that this is an area and location that a tattoo parlor can go into," said Rapuano.

Delia said that it was a difficult decision as the applicants are upstanding citizens in the community and that there was a lot of support for the service.

"They would probably do a better job than anyone else for this proposed use," said Delia about the Alberinos.

But soon-to-be tattoo services at the are not in the immediate future.

"I learned a great deal and I feel more prepared to decide than I would have been a month ago," said Delia. "But the nature of it, the special exception, is one where zoning regulations should not be taken too lightly."

The first vote, which began with a motion to approve the application for the tattoo services, was defeated by a vote of two in favor to three against.  Voting in favor was Mark Rapuano and Christine Goupil. Voting against was Michael Rossi, Anselmo Delia and Kirk Carr.

In a second vote, the PZC agreed to hold a public hearing to review and possibly amend the regulations. It passed 4-1, with Carr being the lone dissenter.

Carr did say "the words are clear, if you like them or not it's immaterial.  It is our sworn duty to uphold the rule.  We can change it if we like."

Jay February 15, 2012 at 07:42 PM
I should point out that I have no tats nor will I ever get any. I spent considerable at one time preventing people from putting holes in me and do not want to leak when I swim.
jody February 16, 2012 at 12:06 PM
I'm glad the regs and classification are being reviewed . Agree standards should be unilateral and unbiased .
Phil Sengle February 17, 2012 at 01:54 PM
Catherine: You made some good points. If you have determined that Jade Massage is not properly licensed, you need to contact the appropriate agency, be it Health Dept., Police Dept. or the Zoning Enforcement Officer.
Phil Sengle February 17, 2012 at 02:04 PM
Review the regs - that's fine. But change them in a rational and objective way. Do not change them based on emotions or sympathy for a particular applicant. That would be a knee jerk reaction. That's how you get "spot" zoning and bad decisions. Once the regs are changed that's it, you have to live with the consequeces - of course change here means relaxed. What are you going do when the 2nd and 3rd shop wants to operate in Clinton and we have no way to stop them? You have to think of the long term. I also still feel uncomfortable with a tattoo parlor being in the same building where children go to get haircuts. Just my opinion, don't kill me. I know many others feel much differently.
Phil Sengle February 17, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Catherine: I don't have much pull but I'll see what I can do. Thanks for your efforts so far. One problem I guess is proving that "adult entertainment" is going on inside. What we believe is going on and what can be proved are two different "things".
Edward G. Alberino Jr February 17, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Phil I want to address the regulations. They have Tattoo's lumped in with Adult Entertainment. As for feeling uncomfortable with children going there we remove hair from Women in a private room. They never see anything. They would not even know what is going on. The building across the street prepares students for SAT'S to go to collage not elementary school. I am not going to convince you so I will not debate you. I will live and die by my word to run a clean shop with no advertising. But the regulations must be updated period.
Phil Sengle February 17, 2012 at 06:43 PM
I wish you no ill will and I have no doubt that you will run a professional operation. I remain worried, however, about other shops that may decide to come to town if the regs change and what may happen when ownership of your shop changes, which it inevitably will (long time from now I hope).
Jay February 19, 2012 at 04:54 PM
Actually "we' should have no say in this at all - including advertising. Any objections are based on ancient prejudices and have no legal or moral place today but drag us backward into wasteful and false arguments caused by ignorance and cheap political grandstanding. There are serious town governmental issues that need attention in Clinton regarding drug and alcohol abuse that would actually benefit the town as a whole from this kind of politically motivated attention. Why are we not focusing on them - and that does include how effective Dare, etc really are.


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