Painting the business as unsavory and potentially harmful to neighbors, Palatine officials have again voted down a proposed tattoo parlor.
The village council on Monday voted 3-2 against the latest proposal despite unanimous support from the village's zoning board and a strong endorsement from the adjacent City Limits Harley Davidson dealership.
"It's the negative image that a tattoo parlor projects on the surrounding areas," said Councilman Greg Solberg, who was against a similar business last year. "I just don't think it reflects well on Palatine."
Chicagoland Electric Tattoo would have taken over a 3,800-square-foot storefront in the Windy City Center shopping plaza at 2001 N. Rand Road, joining the motorcycle-themed Alley 64 Bar and Grill, a tax service and liquor store.
Owner Al Brodeur, also a tattoo equipment manufacturer and supplier with customers in more than 40 countries, said the operation would be high-class and cater to clients with more disposable income. It would specialize in custom tattoos averaging between $500 and $1,000.
Brodeur said he understands the stigma attached to tattoo parlors, but argued the art form has grown into a $2.3 billion industry. He cited a 2012 Harris Poll that stated 24 percent of Americans between 18 and 50 years old have tattoos.
"I really want to come in here and change people's minds of what it is to be tattooed and a tattooer and what an establishment can be like," Brodeur said.
A handful of residents attended the meeting in opposition, fearful of the shop's effect on they said is an already troubled neighborhood. One woman said the area is plagued by drug users and drug deals.
Brodeur said he'd work with police to step up patrols, put up security cameras in the back alley, prohibit gang tattoos and ban anyone under 18 from entering the shop. Signage would be minimal, and the business wouldn't even be visible to southbound traffic.
Jill Giglio, who owns City Limits with her husband, said the site currently is a "rather dead area" and that the tattoo parlor would complement the Harley dealership.
In the end, however, only council members Kollin Kozlowski and Scott Lamerand supported the proposal, with Greg Solberg, Jim Clegg and Mayor Jim Schwantz opposing it. Aaron Del Mar and Brad Helms were absent.