Mayor: More tattoo shops could undermine fragile downtown growth

Shop owner: Stigma misplaced

Jeff Roberts carefully inks the outline of a fairy onto Taniel Jones’ right thigh Friday at Capital Tattoo Co. on High Street. Roberts has been a tattoo artist for 33 years, three years longer than the birthday Jones was commemorating. While tattoo parlors are now legal in Jefferson City, Mayor John Landwehr has asked the city council to investigate zoning the downtown area off-limits to future tattoo parlors.

Jeff Roberts carefully inks the outline of a fairy onto Taniel Jones’ right thigh Friday at Capital Tattoo Co. on High Street. Roberts has been a tattoo artist for 33 years, three years longer than the birthday Jones was commemorating. While tattoo parlors are now legal in Jefferson City, Mayor John Landwehr has asked the city council to investigate zoning the downtown area off-limits to future tattoo parlors. Photo by Kelley McCall.

It all started with a simple phrase. At an October brown-bag meeting of the Jefferson City Council, while discussing the hours during which tattoo studios can be open, Mayor John Landwehr made a passing mention about looking into possible zoning procedures that could prevent any more studios from setting up in the downtown district.

“There are other places in the city that these businesses can go,” Landwehr said during the Oct. 15 meeting. “The downtown area is what we call fragile.”

“I don’t think people want to live next to tattoo parlors,” Landwehr said.

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