SOUTH BEND -- The Common Council voted 9-0 Monday in favor of a petition to operate a tattoo and body-piercing business downtown.
The petitioner, David Martin, a visual and tattoo artist and owner of Bicycle Gallery, 127 W. Washington St., intends to operate the business out of the gallery, which specializes in tattoo and street art.
He told the council Monday the tattooing and body-piercing portion of the business would not be visible from the street or gallery, and that no one under the age of 18 would be considered for a tattoo.
Thirteen people spoke in favor of the petition, which received separate unanimous favorable recommendations from the Area Board of Zoning Appeals and the Zoning and Annexation Committee of the Common Council.
No one spoke in opposition to it.
That said, a representative of 1st Source Bank, also located downtown, told the Zoning and Annexation Committee earlier in the day, "We don't think (the proposed business) is a good mix for the central business district."
Council members, for their part, expressed support for the business.
"I think it'll be a great thing for downtown," President Derek Dieter, D-at large, said.
Speaking afterward, Martin said he was pleased with the council's decision.
"Actually, I'm happy about it," Martin said. "They didn't just pass it, they took the time to try to understand what I'm trying to do."
He said he is planning a grand opening for the new business March 1, to coincide with First Friday downtown.
In other business Monday, the council unanimously approved the city's Americans with Disabilities Act Transition Plan.
Developed by the city in coordination with the Michiana Area Council of Governments, or MACOG, the plan describes how the city intends to comply with the ADA in the public right of way.
"Essentially, it's a blueprint for how the city intends to go about developing curbs, crosswalks and sidewalks so that they're accessible to persons with disabilities," interim city attorney Aladean DeRose, the city's ADA coordinator, said.
The council also unanimously approved the petition of Andrew Elegante and South Bend Brew Werks, 216 S. Michigan St., to operate a brew pub in one of two storefronts attached to the old State Theater.
The plan, Elegante said, is to brew beer in the basement and serve it upstairs along with locally sourced food and non-alcoholic sodas.
South Bend Brew Werks currently sells beer- and wine-making supplies.
Referring to the 9-0 vote, Elegante told the council, "I just wanted to note, also, that one of our first beers is going to be called 'Nine Aye.'"
Staff writer Erin Blasko:
Council OKs downtown tattoo business, ADA transition plan
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