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Newton OKs tattoo parlors downtown

March 15, 2011

Tattoo artists can now ink a permanent place in the heart of Newton.
Newton City Council approved a move that will allow tattoo parlors to be established in the city’s B-3 central business district in the downtown area. With the green light, Newton residents Margaret and Jonathan Landers hope to ink a deal to buy a downtown building and establish a business that offers more than tattoos.
“We plan to buy a building and make it into a full art gallery,” Margaret Landers said, adding she has operated a similar business in downtown Hickory for the past three years. “We have a full art gallery, where we offer local artists the opportunity to exhibit. ... Our idea for the building is to offer an interactive space. Tattooing will be just one small part of the building.”
A tattoo artist for 10 years, Landers is also an oil painter, and she said she aims to offer galley space for other art forms, including pottery, painting and photography. The couple said they hope to buy the vacant “Wilkerson building” on B Street and convert it into an tattoo parlor and art gallery.
“This whole area has a strong art base,” she said. “I think this is an opportunity to take an open building and turn it into something neat for the community."
Council member Anne Stedman supported the ordinance change to allow tattoo parlors in Newton’s downtown.
“What we are trying to develop is a vibrant downtown ... I think it belongs downtown,” she said, explaining a tattoo parlor doesn’t belong in a shopping center along U.S. 321 business. “It goes back to revitalizing downtown. We have a huge art community, and we have artists already downtown. I think it will help foster that sector. I don’t think it belongs outside of the (central business) district because you won’t have the kind of foot traffic you have downtown.”
Not everyone agreed, however.
“As much time as this Council has spent working on the development of downtown Newton ... After all we have gone through, I do not think it is right,” said Newton Mayor Robert Mullinax. “I am thinking about downtown Newton.”
Council member Wayne Dellinger said allowing tattoo parlors in the city’s downtown district would open the door to more parlors besides the one planned by the Landers that will also include art gallery space.
“If we allow your shop, which has proved to be legitimate, we can’t keep somebody that is not legitimate out,” he said. “If we allow a tattoo shop, whether it is presentable or not, that is a concern. ... This is not just for one building.”
A zoning text amendment to allow tattoo parlors in Newton’s central business district was approved with Dellinger casting the lone dissenting vote.

Be sure to see the Thursday print edition of The Observer News Enterprise for more details on this story.

Comments

Art

March 16, 2011 by Seymore Beaver (not verified), 3 years 23 weeks ago
Comment: 254

I am so glad to see that Newton or more specifically downtown Newton is considered an art district by our community leaders. I haven't seen it but I will take their word that it is there. Our greatest painting is occurring now on a derlict watertank.

Now that we have performance art and soon to have personal art, a tattoo gallary not a parlor as the term "parlor" denotes illicit activities, maybe we can combine the two and get us some personal performance art. I'm talking strippers. Good old fashion adult entertainment. We have alcohol, we have plenty of unemployed single moms, and now we will have tattoos.

Face it, Newton needs some sin. It is evident when three police cars are dispatched to assist a fender bender in a parking lot and We roll out six fire cars and trucks for a smoking trash can.

If Newton were a pizza we need some pepporoni and what better topping is having no tops.

No one can complain as there are just a few folks in downtown Newton after 5pm.

I'm all excited about this and heading to the bank to get a pocket full on singles now.

Thank God we have Wayne Dellinger at the helm!

March 16, 2011 by Backbone (not verified), 3 years 23 weeks ago
Comment: 253

At least he has stayed around to inject some common sense into this crowd runnin' things around here! I dont get it, you hammer legitiment citizens about the size and construct of their outbuildings and pound on 'em for haveing more than the requisit number of cars/trucks. Just what is the allowed number of cars that YOU deem OK? You are going out of your way to penalize the honest hardworking and successful citizens who enjoy their success by, guess what, building and making their property more valuable, oh yes and collecting cars. then you allow any kind of under the table commerce by the mexicans of North Newton that they want to conduct and now you are letting these underground tatoo creeps come out into the open under the cover of legitimacy! I JUST HOPE WAYNE RUNS FOR MAYOR AGAIN, MAYBEY HE STILL HAS THE HORSE POWER TO SLOW TRHIS BUCNH OF LUNATICS DOWN AND GIVE OUR CITY BACK TO US, THE CITIZENS WHO WORK PAY TAXES AND TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OPPORTUNITY TO IMPORVE OUR LOT! This guy Pattishal has got to go, I ahve been doing some research.... I THINK I WILL HAVE SOME T.E.A.! YEE HAW!

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