Community Issues - Special Laws

Bill 8-18, Tattoo or Body Piercing Establishments (in BM DT)

Sponsor: Marks
Benefits: Deirdre Aikin at 501 York Rd

This Bill allows a tattoo parlor in BM DT (basically downtown Towson) if:

  • Above ground floor
  • Less than 3,000 sq ft
  • In combination with an art gallery (which is not defined)
  • Not within 500 ft of any principal residential structure other than a multifamily building
  • At least 90 ft from another tattoo parlor (the limit otherwise is 2,500 ft).
And sets some limits for:
  • Signage limited to a wall-mounted sign that is not a "neon" sign and does not include mention of "tattoo or body piercing"
  • Limits on hours of operation

It is intended to allow one above the Wells Fargo Bank. It would appear to negate the current limit of such businesses being 2,500 ft distant from each other.

This bill is faulty by explicitly prohibiting "neon" signs. Lights can be incandescent, fluorescent, halogen, metal halide, LEDs, LCD panels, plasma displays, or others. In fact, so-called "neon" lights may be made with other gases to obtain different colors: hydrogen (red), helium (yellow), carbon dioxide (white), argon (purple), krypton (gray or green), and mercury (blue). The Bill simply needs to say "not internally illuminated".)

Because the "art gallery" was not defined, as I originally noted above, Bill 13-19 was introduced on April 1, 2019 to provide that the tattoo parlor may not be more than 1/3 of the total space. In other words, the Art Gallery has to be the principal use, with the tattoo parlor being accessory. Thus, the Bill should have required that the only sign allowed is to identify the Art Gallery.

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Updated 12 June 2019 by MAP