11/15/12 Because of the lack of a quorum last week, the Plymouth Board of Zoning Appeals met Tuesday night to consider two variance requests.

Bill Smith was granted a development of standard to allow for a pole-barn at 416 South Michigan Street.  The city standard is a 10 foot side yard setback or 10% of the lot width.  Smith explained his plan to build the pole-barn to house his vehicles.

  The variance of use request by Drendalyn Ortiz to allow a tattoo parlor within her beauty salon at 1505 West Jefferson Street took some time and created another discussion.

A few months ago Ortiz approached the BZA for the same variance on her former location on Water Street.  Since the board knew the city was in the process of purchasing the property for River Park Square they suggested she not continue with her request.

Ortiz has moved her shop to south side of West Jefferson Street and told members of the BZA she would like to offer cosmetic tattooing along with her other services.

Plymouth Building Inspector Keith Hammonds reviewed the five findings of fact and said in his opinion the variance of use request met the requirements.

  Board members had some concerns including hours of operation to wit Ortiz said she would not be open later than 10 p.m. a couple of times a week.  There were also questions of signage and a comment of a previous tattoo sign in downtown that had a very large pierced tongue on it.  Again Ortiz said her current signage was all she needed.  She would just add tattooing to her current signs.

Notices were sent to all neighboring property owners within 300 feet of the property seeking the variance.  Doug Feece, President of the Plymouth Plan Commission and owner of Burt’s Body Shop, a neighboring business said he wasn’t against tattooing but  is disappointed that the state regulates barber shops but not tattoo parlors.

The BZA approved the request with a 4-0 vote.

  The discussion of tattoos brought the conversation to the downtown location. It was just recently brought to the BZA member’s attention that there is a tattoo parlor operating in the store front between the Pilot News and Fiesta Mexicana.

In September 2009 the BZA considered a variance to allow a tattoo parlor at the location.  The board tabled the request but in October 2009 granted a variance of use.  Although the variance was granted in 09, it wasn’t until a few months ago that they actually opened the business.

  The third tattoo parlor is located on West Jefferson Street news Transit Mix.

The discussion between members was that when a variance was granted it was only good for one year and if not acted on it would become null.  In reading the zoning ordinance it was learned, “unless otherwise specified by the board, use variance approvals shall be limited to, and run with the property specified in the petition.

It was then suggested that members of the Plan Commission begin a comprehensive review of the current zoning ordinances and specifically spell out requirements for tattoo parlors.