Paso Robles City Council agreed to revise laws prohibiting tattoo parlors in the city limits. City Associate Planner Darcy Delgado explained the issue. She said in 1994, the council approved a ban on tattoo parlors in the city limits, primarily as a health issue. She says since then the tattoo establishments are more closely monitored by OSHA and other state agencies. Additionally, she says tattoos are protected by the 1st Amendment as a freedom of speech issue.
A couple potential tattoo parlor operators spoke in favor of revising the ban. Tyler Bly said he would welcome the opportunity to open a tattoo business in Paso Robles. He is a Cal Poly graduate who is a tattoo artist.
Councilman Fred Strong weighed in on the issue. He said he has no tattoos, but that he has grandchildren who have them. He said it’s a generational issue. Now, tattoos are more popular. The council ultimately voted 4-1 with John Hamon casting the dissenting vote to allow tattoo parlors in some areas of the city limits. City Manager Tom Frutchey said the staff is busy with other items, so it may be a few months before you see tattoo parlors in the city limits of Paso Robles. Those establishments will be restricted to certain zoning areas, away from schools and not in the downtown areas.
The Paso Robles City Council also discussed forming a charter city vs the current general city law. This is in response to a lawsuit over the California Voting Rights Act. City Manager Tom Frutchey told the council it will be a long process to develop a charter, that it’s not unlike creating a constitution. Frutchey said there are advantages. The council agreed to explore the process.