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Baltimore County Council OKs zoning bills to allow tattoo shops in Arbutus, Towson

The Baltimore County Council approved a pair of bills Monday that will allow tattoo shops to open in Arbutus and Towson, with some restrictions.

"There's growing public acceptance of these types of establishments," said Councilman David Marks, a Republican who represents Towson.

Previously in the county, tattoo or body-piercing establishments have been restricted to industrial zones.

In Towson, the bill passed Monday will allow tattoo and piercing shops in conjunction with an art gallery in an area along York Road between Allegheny Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue. Under the restrictions, tattoo shops must be 90 feet from one another. There also are limits on the hours and signage that can be used.

The zoning change in Towson could benefit Grant and Deirdre Aikin, who hope to open a combination art gallery and tattoo shop.

In Arbutus, tattoo and piercing shops would be allowed in the Arbutus Revitalization District. Councilman Tom Quirk, a Democrat who represents Arbutus, was approached by prospective tattoo shop owner Zach Volatile seeking help in changing the county's zoning laws.

Volatile has said he plans to open Empire Tattoo at 4809 Leeds Ave. in Arbutus.

Quirk said the bill has the support of local business and community groups in Arbutus.

"It helps bring another good business in the community," Quirk said.

Both bills passed the council unanimously and will take effect March 19.

Baltimore Sun Media Group reporters Libby Solomon and Margarita Cambest contributed to this article.

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