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Tattoo parlor can’t ink deal with City

Tuesday night, the Planning and Zoning Commissioners were split three ways on deciding whether to allow a tattoo parlor to open in downtown Ennis.
In the end, the majority ruled and applicant Kevin Morris was denied a zoning permit to begin his body decoration business.
Morris, who has been working for free as a tattoo artist for the last year, told the Commission he felt “convicted” to start this business.
"First and foremost, I am a business man," said Morris. "I am a religious man. This is a ministry to me and I reach out to those who aren’t normally reached."
Morris did his best to convince the commissioners his business would be a safe and worry-free endeavor, even going so far as assuring the Commission he would have a certified law enforcement officer on staff and not allow smoking or drinking in his establishment.
"This wouldn’t be something you see in Deep Ellum," said Morris.
City Manager Steve Howerton informed the commissioners the City would approve the zoning if some conditions were met, including the approval of all signage that didn’t include the terms tattoo, parlor or any other reference that could be deemed offensive. Howerton said these conditions were set forth to try and play down the business as much as possible but at the same time allowing the business to operate since the city’s charter didn’t deny tattoo parlors from being in business.
Although the motion was denied by no votes from Commissioners Jerod Nichols, Calvin Collins, Glen Hejny and Dan Jansen, the decision was not unanimous. Commissioner Booker T. Washington opposed the motion to deny the zoning and Commissioners Brian Holley and Joyce Plasek abstained from voting.
Another item on the agenda not receiving a unanimous vote from the Commission was the approval of a new billboard.
All but Jansen voted to approve the billboard, replacing a wooden billboard on the east side of I-45 about 1,300 feet north of Valek Road that, according to Howerton, has fallen into disrepair.
Jansen had his hand raised high when voting to oppose the new billboard and during discussion of the item said, "I’ve said this once and I’ll say it again, the last thing this city needs is another billboard. I’m sick of seeing billboards. I hate billboards."
The Commission did approve the billboard, with eight conditions set forth by the City Inspections Department.
In other news, the commissioners were more aligned with the three other items on the agenda.
The Commission approved an annexation and a zoning ordinance amendment for Sam Ventura’s property along the Hwy. 287 Bypass. Ventura said he wanted to bring the land into the city and begin developing it for the new hospital currently being built to the north. He said he saw an opportunity for "really nice" restaurants and a medical center to be near the hospital.
The final plat for the Stonewycke subdivision east of Ensign Road and across from the new junior high school was approved. Phase 1 of the subdivision is a 103-residential-lot area that will have landscaping along Ensign Road to match the City’s landscaping for the school. Todd Winters, a representative of the subdivision, said his company wishes to begin construction on lots by June or July.
The Planning and Zoning Commission meets every other Monday in the City Commission Chambers at City Hall. The meeting is open to the public.

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Posted by on May 30 2007. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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