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Tattoo Artist Gets OK to Open Kent Shop

Original plans for incorporated art gallery nixed

Kent State University art student Jason Miller got the OK from the Kent Planning Commission Tuesday to open a tattoo and piercing parlor in Kent.

The commission approved Miller's plans to open up a by-appoint tattoo parlor at 707 S. Water St. despite objections from neighbors over parking and hours of operation concerns.

Miller said both he and his landlord, PJ Agarwal, planned to comply with every requirement and request set forth by the city and just wanted the opportunity to "raise the standard" of tattoo parlors in Kent.

"Unfortunately we are in a business that has a stigma," Miller, a Ravenna resident, said.

Miller originally proposed plans in December for the parlor that included space for an art gallery. The gallery required more parking spaces at the site than could be easily provided. Miller said they dropped the gallery from the proposed space.

Kent planning engineer Jennifer Barone said city officials calculated that by dropping the gallery the business only needed three parking spaces.

"There’s room to put two spaces in the front and one on the side with no problem at all," she said.

Susan Morris, who owns the house at 108 E. Hall St., said she was worried about the parking situation but also objected to the idea of adding a tattoo parlor when Kent already has several.

"I honestly think we do not want another one," Morris said.

Kent Planning Commission member John Gargan asked Miller whether or not he thought there was enough of a demand for another tattoo parlor in Kent.

"I feel there is a need because there’s a strong clientele of mine just in the area and surrounding area," Miller said. "They are my clients, not just random people who want to get tatttoed by anybody. These people are very loyal … and if my location isn’t central or convenient that may cost me my clients."

He added that many of his clients are what's referred to in the tattoo business as "serious collectors" who have multiple, large pieces done that can take several years to finish.

Miller also agreed to limit the hours of operation to 9 p.m. at night from the originally proposed 3 p.m. to 12 a.m.

The commission approved the project with several conditions, including limiting the shop to one tattoo artist operating at any given time. The project was approved unanimously.

"My personal feeling is that you meet all the zoning code requirements," commission chairman Anthony Catalano told Miller.

Resident of Kent January 10, 2013 at 10:14 PM
I hope his rates are cheaper than $80 an hour.. that seems to be the norm these days.. and crummy tat's. & attitudes. Decent location for a shop tho.
Dr. Anarchy Clown PHD January 11, 2013 at 12:22 AM
if you can't afford to pay for quality work, then don't get tattooed.
Resident of Kent January 11, 2013 at 01:57 AM
Dr. Anarchy Clown PhD.? Hardyharhar- you're hilarious !
Chris (Kit) Myers January 11, 2013 at 03:48 AM
A guy who calls himself Dr. Anarchy Clown PHD! A guy who wants to lynch a kid in Steubenville! Truly we live in the Age of Enlightenment...
h January 12, 2013 at 12:22 AM
My god, what a useless thread of complains! If my neighbor wants to do tats, and actually asks permission vs doing it on his own without health standards, i have no problem with it! (regardless of where I live) I wouldnt even care if he didnt have permission, so long as he was a quiet respectful neighbor. him asking tells me he is. if he proves to not be...then complain! dont anticipate the worst and try to put others through your own hell! i think i might be this guys first client! tattoo parlors are no longer any different than having a coffee shop, book store, clothing store, or other mom n pop brick n mortar anymore. i think there are a number of what look like crack houses along that street. maybe those should be worried about instead! show love and support, not fear, hatred and anger.

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