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Youngstown commission rejects downtown tattoo parlor



Published: Wed, March 20, 2013 @ 12:01 a.m.

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The Youngstown Planning Commission voted 3-1 not to grant a waiver to Lance Peck, who wants to open a tattoo parlor downtown at 101 W. Federal St., the location of the former William Leonard’s Extraordinary Spa and Salon. Peck currently operates a tattoo parlor in Austintown. Above, Peck shows some of his drawings.

By DAVID SKOLNICK

skolnick@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

The city’s planning commission and a city councilwoman prefer a downtown building remain vacant rather than have a tattoo parlor there.

The commission voted 3-1 Tuesday against recommending a waiver for Lance Peck, who owns Blackheart Tattoo on Mahoning Avenue in Austintown, to open a second parlor at 101 W. Federal St., the location of the former William Leonard’s Extraordinary Spa and Salon, which closed last year.

Before the vote, Councilwoman Annie Gillam, D-1st, whose ward includes downtown, said, “I don’t want to see [a tattoo parlor] in that location.” She added that “we want to create a certain atmosphere” downtown.

The commission voted last year in favor of recommending a waiver — later approved by city council, which makes the final decision on all waivers — to allow Blue Magic

Tattoos and Piercings to open at 217 W. Federal St., near Blackheart’s proposed location.

After the vote, Peck said, “I don’t know why they’d stifle small business. If they keep shooting people down, people will stop coming here. What I heard is, ‘It’s too good for you.’”

Peck said the downtown location would be similar to his business in Austintown, featuring work by local artists, including sculptures, wood carvings and screen-printing clothes.

“More art downtown in that area would be a big help to everyone,” he said. “A little bit of art and culture would do the city good.”

Peck also said he is heavily involved in positive activities for youths, such as Halloween parties and Easter egg hunts, closes his business at 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and at 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and doesn’t tattoo anyone who is intoxicated.

He wants to hire about three or four people at the downtown location with an average annual salary of $35,000.

Peck needs a waiver because tattoo parlors are among the businesses considered “regulated use” under the city zoning code.

Other businesses with that designation including secondhand stores, bars and other places that sell alcoholic beverages, pornographic movie theaters, strip clubs and payday lenders.

Even with the 3-1 vote against Peck, the commission didn’t reject the proposal.

There are supposed to be seven members on the commission, so votes of fewer than four, a majority, aren’t binding.

There are currently six members. Jill Carter and Mayor Charles Sammarone — for at least the past 15 years or so, mayors skip a majority of planning commission meetings — didn’t show Tuesday. Sammarone is supposed to select someone for that seventh commission position that’s been vacant for about two months.

Angelo Pignatelli, a longtime commission member, said if he and Irving Lev, another member, do not show up, there wouldn’t be any commission meetings. The two attend nearly every meeting. The two other members at Tuesday’s meeting, Law Director Anthony Farris and Charles Shasho, deputy director of public works, also regularly attend commission meetings.

Shasho, the lone commission member at Tuesday’s meeting to vote against denying Peck the waiver, said, “We need more culture downtown.”

Lev said he voted against the waiver because “these more low-end things hurt the city.”

Also Tuesday, the commission voted 2-2 on a waiver for a secondhand store at 1914 E. Midlothian Blvd.

“It’s not conducive to the area,” said Pignatelli, who, along with Lev, voted against the waiver.

Like the tattoo parlor, the request for the secondhand store waiver didn’t receive four votes, so it remains unresolved.

Councilman John R. Swierz, D-7th, who represents that ward, spoke Tuesday in support of allowing the store to open.


Comments

1north_side_girl(213 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Hmm ... maybe the reason Blue Magic is allowed to run downtown - and be named after a brand of heroin - is because it is owned by Tim Adair, a former Mahoning County deputy sheriff.

http://www.vindy.com/news/2012/feb/07...

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2uselesseater(229 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

What a sham.

They regulate tattoo parlors under a special regulation that includes:
"secondhand stores, bars and other places that sell alcoholic beverages, pornographic movie theaters, strip clubs and payday lenders."

What's the issue around here discriminating against certain types of businesses? Do I support fools getting inked? No. Do I partake in porno theaters, no. Strip clubs, no. Payday lenders, no.

WTF is the issue with secondhand stores? God knows people in Youngstown are chronically broke and in need. Let's not put needed second hand stores in the area and help people and foster small businesses.

Downtown is an uppity illusion.

The closing of William Leonard’s shows that there is hardly anyone Downtown with cash. Can't afford a haircut and a shave, what are folks going to afford.

Then again, Downtown has no problem rubber stamping drinking joints. They seem to all be doing fine.

Entertaining the other ink joint named after a heroin brand and owned by a cop. No corruption or preferential treatment here. Move on, nothing to see.

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3hmm(175 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

If the business plan by Black Heart.is as mentioned in the article then. It isn't much different then lemon tree.. IF anyone spoke to Peck you'd realize he is an artist.first and uses tattoo ink as a medium. I wonder if HE would have came before blue magic if the roles would have been reversed.....

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4lee(544 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

“we want to create a certain atmosphere” You have already created an atmosphere and it stinks. Y town is a hole and has been for a long time.

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5harleydog(185 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

What is the atmosphere that the council woman wants in downtown youngstown? If you ask me she is discriminating against this man. If it was a black business man wanting to open up a tattoo shop I don't think she would have a problem.

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6drpautot(68 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

i will never understand why there are several members of council that never show up for these votes. I personally know the proprietor of the second hand store, a woman who wants to start a small business. her business plan is sound, and wont be just another junk store, or consignment shop; a hard working mother should not have to go through this legal mumbo jumbo just to start a small business. according to our republican readers aren't they the quote backbones of American business?

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7islandgrump(58 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Contact the ACLU. Talk about hindering free
enterprise. Youngstown should be happy to
draw hide traders if they would come in. Its called
a probationary waivor. After 90-120 days if there
are no problems, grant the waivor. Wow! Youngstown.

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8teddybear6(33 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Oh yes Youngstown Council, by all means vote it down, because having a tatoo parlor that employs local artists (because that is what they are) and show cases artwork as a gallery inside the business is much more lower class than a bar, where people can sit and get drunk and then act like a-holes...Just because people have tatoos, does not make them low class. Talk about discriminating. Here's a local small business man trying to bring business to downtown, instead of letting a building sit empty, as most of them now do, and this "high end council" is blocking him. Those buildings will remain empty and people will continue to do business in the suburbs. What a shame.

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9makesyathink(37 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

C'mon Youngstown a tattoo business isn't some sort of back door, dirty place that only brings in "those types". Put front window guidelines in place, and embrace this century! Have any of you ever been a parlor lately? This business would bring all sorts of "normal" customers downtown. Quit practicing discrimination, and sending mixed messages, or Youngstown will NEVER be a destination.

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10Lifes2Short(3867 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

""“I don’t want to see [a tattoo parlor] in that location.” She added that “we want to create a certain atmosphere” downtown.""

Is she serious? Has she been downtown recently? What kind of atmosphere does she want to cater to? I have my guesses but it wouldn't be politically correct in this society today. And Peck is right, A little bit of art and culture would do the city good. Amazing.

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11Erplane(449 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Given the very cool little art gallery that opened across from city hall, maybe its time to focus on the development of Boardman Street? There is no bar or cafe there to draw a crowd yet, but with that gallery and NAMII the opportunities seem to be growing. That could be the arts district?

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12CongressWatcher(146 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

I have an idea. I would like to go downtown one time and not be approached by a "homeless" stranger and "asked" for money.... That would create a great atmosphere!

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13UsuallyBlunt(105 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

I wonder if they would let me open a "Bus Tour" business downtown? I would call it GANGLAND TOURS and charge $5 a head to ride around town in armored vehicles while being shown drug houses and murder sites!

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14city_resident(501 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Great idea Erplane!

Judging by many of the comments so far, I can understand the decision to not allow a second tattoo parlor to open downtown. Many people already have the mistaken impression that there's just a bunch of bars downtown. Adding tattoo parlors (regardles of artistic merit) would only add to the misconception that downtown is seedy.

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15UNCOMMONSENSE(329 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

What is being said here is that they do not want the type of people that tattoo parlors attract in downtown. So, if you have a tattoo, boycott downtown Youngstown and spend your dollars in Austintown. When the downtown feels the effects maybe council will realize that tattooed people are not so bad.

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16Laurieljc(63 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Grouping a tattoo parlor and a second hand store together in the same category as an establishment that sells alcohol or a strip club is almost as rediculous as saying a tattoo parlor will bring culture to the downtown area!

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17busyman(239 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

They should put it down by the WTRA bus station where most of the customer base moves through.

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18Knightcap(609 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Bring back the Park Burlesque shows and Jay's hot dogs.

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19UNCOMMONSENSE(329 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

YoungstownBornRaised if we use your logic then we should only have one restaurant, bank or retail store downtown. It is not up to you to determine if there is enough business, but the business owner. We have a call center in that very area that is more of a nuisance then any tattoo parlor. Drive by 20 Federal plaza when the cars are double parked blocking the road and the employees are hanging outside lighting up. It is no wonder why the suburbs continue to grow and the city decays.

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20Ytownnative(988 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

I guess they want more bars, or bars that serve food. I went downtown last week to pay my water bill and actually walked up to federal plaza. What atmosphere are they talking about? the run down decaying buildings? the boarded up buildings? The empty shops?

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21Ianacek(856 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

The Planning Commission needs reorganizing to avoid inconsistent results . There should be 5 members - 2 Council members , 1 City Planner ( the City needs to reappoint one urgently ) , 1 appointee with a broadly business background & 1 appointee with a broadly design background .

The Mayor should advertize for applications for appointed positions .

A tattoo parlour or a secondhand furniture store are not necessarily problems , provided the Conditions they must operate under are appropriate. A professional planner would be able to advise them on this .

Also , it is becoming clear that Council decisions & City development are suffering through lack of business community input into those decisions .
You only have to look at Monday's dismal turnout at the Newport Library when the Mayor & 2 Council Members tried to excite local businesspeople into redeveloping Market Street. It wasn't just the weather that kept attendance low . I guess they all mean well , but there isn't a single Council member or City staff member who can discuss small to medium sized business with credibility . They've all been bureaucrats or, at best , commission salespeople . They have no idea what it means to take a business idea & turn it into a product or service that people will willingly pay for. They have to deal with issues of site selection , product development , promotion , staff recruitment & training , security , financing etc - & every month they have to make payroll before they pay themselves .

Council needs to modernize its Planning & business interaction processes if it wants to attract more small to medium sized commerce & development .

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22dawn421(264 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

i guess all those bars are more "conducive" to the city?

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23city_resident(501 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Except for being locally owned, instead of a national chain, what's the difference between the "bars" downtown, and the "restaurants" along 224 in Boardman, or Mahoning Ave. in Austintown?

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24JS(461 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

A hotel that rents rooms by the hour would compliment all those downtown bars.

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25oldskool(95 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Tattoo is art Brown
Art is what brings people to the city
It may be time to realize that the only growth
that may come to this city is hindered by it's LACK of art display.
AFRAID OF CHANGE= YOUNGSTOWN

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26mstng_sally(13 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Does anyone realize the popularity of tattoos these days? It's not a certain 'kind' of person getting inked. It's ALL walks of life - and yes, they are artists! Just turn on the TV - how many shows are on about these talented individuals? I have no idea what Peck's Austintown business looks like, but my guess is, it's a nice place. HOWEVER, I don't think I would brag to people about getting a tattoo in "downtown Youngstown" (or as most of you call it "Thugstown"). Just let the council keep isolating everyone - they'll continue to have vacant buildings, homeless waundering the town. Yep - that's what they need. Sigh....

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27Tornado82(2 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

This specific tattoo shop owner is known junkie and makes sure he smokes pot with his customers before tottooing them. I'm glad they stopped this shop from opening.

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28Tornado82(2 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

tattooing*

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29zz3(877 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

uselesseater/harlydog hit it right on the head. How bout that club downtown?? What a joke. And racism, most certainly. But isn't that being promoted at this time in our gov't? Downtown is a joke and anyone in my opinion wanting to RISK wasting a lot of money in an area like downtown is should be given a break. As stated whats the prob??The whole of Thugstown is a war zone ( I think the recent move of the Cedars prove this), and there is very little property that the cockroaches have not taken over thanks to our crack administrators and Judges. Some just hate to admit it and the facts must be stinging but get over it!! I think the way administration runs this place there is no hope. Look at Warren. Nice downtown. But you need the right leadership.Were sunk. Last one out turn out the lights

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30uselesseater(229 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

This is the story of the two Youngstowns.

There are the uppity transplants and Ytown natives that happily mix it up with them in gentrifying Downtown. The tiny island of denial.

Then there is the rest of Youngstown --- paycheck to paycheck, life struggles, etc. The masses of reality. The 98%+.

I've never understood regulating businesses of any sort. There are but a handful of businesses requiring tight controls. Strip clubs, bars, slaughter houses and some heavy polluting industries are about it.

It's governments role to ensure the safety of the public (which they do a pretty lousy job of for decades in Ytown). Beyond that safety (environmental and criminal mainly) government has no legitimate role or right to regulate like this. It is done outside of the judicial system in a foggy mist of administrative proceedings.

I say sue the City, sue the "Planning" commission. Easy to point to the many snafus in it's past.

I want more tat joints like I want more smoke stacks. But, you take what is offered by the viable tax paying businesses. Obviously, there is demand here for this place. Folks who don't like that reality should retreat to the suburbs, and denial.

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31RESTORE(1 comment)posted 1 year ago

Number 1, very racist comment by a "part time" public official. 2, it would appear that the "planning commission" can be anti-business when you consider downtown being "the Central Business" district. 3, A ongoing concern regarding "the Central Business District" is the individuals involved in the planning, development process, etc. You have "part time" officials trying to do a job that requires "full time", qualified individuals make decisions that is for the greater good. Are the existing business owners downtown actively involved in the planning and development process? If not, they should be. A "blend" of business is good in your business district if its sustainable in the market place. I would suggest interested parties take a trip to Akron and visit their business district. Not rocket science, but take the individuals with the capacity and competency to make it happen. Downtown is better but stories like this makes you wonder. ( My 2 cents)

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32DwightK(1179 comments)posted 1 year ago

They won't allow a tattoo parlor downtown but peep shows uptown on Market St and the Foster Theater on Glenwood are OK? Give me a break.

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33Askmeificare(667 comments)posted 1 year ago

People with tattoos are violent people.

Haven't any of you seen the Marlon Brando movies with the motorcycles and all of the beer cans?! ?! ?!

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