Tattoo Blog

Art that adorns the flesh…

Old Views, Old Town.

December 22nd, 2009 by

Oh man…oh man, oh man.  It just kills me how clueless and out of touch with the reality of all things tattoo related that people can be.  Take for example the case of Elk Grove, California.

Last week, Elk Grove’s city council voted to deny a proposal to transform a vacant building in Elk Grove’s Old Town district into a tattoo studio.  We’re talking about a building that is sitting vacant, as in there is nothing going on inside that building.  Nada.  Zip.  Along comes tattoo artist Patrick McGuire and he decides that he wants to open up Elk Grove’s first tattoo and piercing studio inside the vacant building.  This of course means commerce, and a functioning business in an otherwise empty building.  Seems like a no brainer to me: a guaranteed money maker of a business vs an empty building.

Too bad that the Elk Grove City Council didn’t see it in such easy to read terms.  Despite being eager for the spot in Elk Grove’s Old Town to be filled by a business, a tattoo studio is just not what the city council is looking for, I guess.  Neighbouring businesses in the area don’t seem too eager to have a tattoo studio within close proximity either: 

Geno Cassillo, owner of the nearby Brick House Restaurant, cited recent fights and a drug bust in Old Town, and said a tattoo parlor would bring similar activity.

“I’m not saying that a tattoo parlor brings that much of that element there, but it does bring a small degree of that element there,” Cassillo said.

Yes, of course.  Because EVERYONE knows that tattoos are personally responsible for fights and the insatiable demand for drugs.  Rumor has it that tattoos even started both World Wars.  However, there are some more rational heads milling about that city council.  Not everyone is against the idea of getting some ink flowing in the Old Town:

Elk Grove City Council Member Jim Cooper disagreed at the Dec. 9 meeting.

“As a patrol commander in two different districts for the Sheriff’s Department, we didn’t have crimes (at tattoo parlors),” he said.

Fellow council member Steve Detrick said approving the tattoo parlor would have been circumventing the process already in place.

Cooper and then-Elk Grove Mayor Pat Hume were the only two to vote in support of the project. Old Town is “withering on the vine,” Hume argued.

“If you think Old Town is going to survive and be vibrant by a bunch of little antique stores or gift stores or beauty salons and if that’s going to keep you healthy – how’s it working out for you right now?” Hume said.

Unfortunatley, it’s sort of too little too late.  Patrick McGuire isn’t giving up though, he still plans to open up a tattoo shop – it’ll just have to be somewhere else in Elk Grove.  This will mean filing for a conditional use permit, which will run McGuire over $5,000.  Yikes.  Well, good luck to you Patrick.   

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