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updated: 8/29/2014 5:25 PM

Geneva considering request for tattoo studio

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  • A tattoo studio planned for the space that formerly housed a tanning salon faces opposition from other tenants in this strip center on Randall Road.

       A tattoo studio planned for the space that formerly housed a tanning salon faces opposition from other tenants in this strip center on Randall Road.
    Susan Sarkauskas | Staff Photographer

 
 

The Geneva City Council will decide Tuesday whether to let a tattoo studio open in a strip shopping center on Randall Road, over objections of some of the owners of the building.

Ramiro Guillen wants to open A Artistic Theories Tattoo and Gallery at 1871 S. Randall Road.

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Normally, tattoo studios are permitted in land zoned for commercial use along Randall. But the building is governed by a 1989 agreement that has stricter rules on what kinds of business are allowed, and a tattoo shop is not one of them.

The building houses an eye-care clinic and a home-repair service business, which occupy three-fifths of the building. The business owners own their spaces, in a business condominium arrangement.

They oppose the tattoo studio. And they contend the city shouldn't even consider the application, because the tattoo operator doesn't have legal standing to ask for it. He hasn't signed a lease nor provided a letter of intent to do so, lawyers for the doctors and handyman told city council members Monday at a committee-of-the-whole meeting.

The lawyer for the eye business also said his clients specialize in caring for children, and don't think it is appropriate to have a tattoo business nearby because of that.

The building has different zoning because it is across Glen Eagle Drive from a residential neighborhood, and the city wanted less-intense business uses near houses. But there is a tall berm between the strip center and the neighborhood.

The owner of the space where the tattoo studio would go said the other building owners are not treating him fairly, and are prejudiced about tattoo studios. The city would require the studio to limit its hours, and to post a "no loitering" sign.

Several aldermen said that while they would not get a tattoo, they realize times have changed and tattoos are much more acceptable now. Alderman Don Cummings said he has a tattoo, and favors letting the shop open.

Alderman Tom Simonian said that, while he believed "it would be an honorable business here that could change the stereotype," he didn't want to oppose the other owners in the building about something that could affect their businesses and the values of their property.

The committee voted 5-4 against the allowing the tattoo studio. Alderman Craig Maladra was absent.

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