OLDSMAR — The City Council voted Tuesday to allow tattoo and piercing businesses downtown.
"I'm excited," said resident Jillian Langley Santiago, who has been working with the city to open a shop on St. Petersburg Drive E, where she has paid rent on a storefront since February. "I'm ready to open my business. We just have to get our other licensing done and open up.
Previously, an ordinance for the downtown area grouped tattoo and piercing businesses with pawnshops and gun shops, which the original ordinance described as signs of "neighborhood deterioration."
"The same people that rode the Harley-Davidsons and got the tattoos of yesterday are not the ones from today," Mayor Doug Bevis said. "I know attorneys and vice mayors that have tattoos," a nod to Vice Mayor Linda Norris' new tattoo.
Council member Jerry Beverland voted against amending the ordinance, cautioning that changing the downtown district rules is a slippery slope.
Langley Santiago still has to complete the licensing process. She aims to open her shop, Be the Canvas, by the end of August.
Contact Julie Kliegman at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 445-4159. Follow @jmkliegman.