Victory for Tattoo Shop Negated by Another Setback

Milton Chavez' visit to last night's Menifee City Council meeting was bittersweet.

The 31 year old tattoo artist had been trying to get approval to put in a tattoo shop inside the Newport Commons building on Newport Rd. Thus far, City Hall had put a hold on his plans, citing an ordinance that prevented tattoo shops within a 1,000 foot radius of nearby churches. His proposed location was 913 feet from the Seventh Day Adventist Church on Bradley Rd.

After hearing his case last night, the City Council agreed to modify the ordinance by reducing the 1,000 foot restriction down to 500 feet.

But soon after the council agreed, it was noted that the same ordinance also restricted tattoo shops from being within 500 feet from any business that sold alcohol. Chavez' proposed location is too close to the AM/PM Store on the corner of Newport and Bradley.

The 500 foot proximity to alcohol restriction is not new, but has been a part of the original city ordinance. It just was never addressed until last night.

Though this latest road block seems to be one of a string of several others, Chavez remains undeterred, and confident he'll have a tattoo shop in Menifee.

"Right now we're going to take this back to the City Council", said Chavez, who has thus far paid $4,300.00 in fees to the City. The father of three referred to council member's Kristjansson's proposal to modify the ordinance by reducing the 500 foot proximity to alcohol retailers down to 250 feet.

But others on the council don't want to loosen the restrictions, concerned that it would allow too many tattoo shops to come into the city. "We'd love to have tattoo shops in the city", said Mayor John Denver. "But we don't want to open it up to 70+ shops, just 4 or 5."

As it stands right now, the city doesn't know where Chavez's proposed tattoo shop can go considering the alcohol proximity.

"We're going to sit down and take a look at other locations where a tattoo shop can go", said Carmen Cave, Community Development Director for the City of Menifee, after the meeting last night.

The mayor seems to agree with Cave. "There are definitely places where it can go, we just have to sit down and look at what works best."


  1. This whole thing is ridiculous!!!!!!!!! Let him put in the shop.

  2. The question should not be why can’t the city bend the rules, it should be, why is Milton Chavez so resistant to finding another location in Menifee for his business?

  3. The question should not be why can’t the city bend the rules, it should be, why is Milton Chavez so resistant to finding another location in Menifee for his business?

  4. He isn't resistant. There aren't any other location for him to open up shop in Menifee. Which is why he is asking the ordinance be change.

  5. "We'd love to have tattoo shops in the city" I bet that's the first time anybody's said that. Interesting vision Mayor.

    The rules were set in place for a reason. Why are we bending over backwards to make this accommodation?

  6. New business is good for the city... How else do you expect to grow and diversify if these ordinances keep shooting down small business plans.. its a tattoo shop for crying out loud, not a dispensary. Get with the program Menifee.

  7. Because the rules are unconstitutional and a tattoo shop like it or not has just as many rights if not more because it is protected under the first amendment as any other normal business that would open. Therefore if there are certain rules or ordinances that are set in place that seem unjust and make it impossible for a business to open anywhere then that is wrong. People seem to think that their "personal" opinion to tattoos or a tattoo shop are just, but their are many opinions about lots of issues that are not...and does not mean that tattoo shops or anyone for that matter are 2nd class citizens and cannot work to support their families. I bet you wouldnt turn away a police officer that is heavily tattooed if you were in need of help, or take your child out of class because the teacher has a tattoo. People are generalizing and lumping everyone that has tattoos or has a tattoo shop into a class that is lower than. They talk about a tattoo shop bringing criminals to town, which is not true....yet they passed with no problem a church in sun city that will be bus'ing in ex-convicts from a halfway house every week....and we are not talking speeding ticket violations, people that cannot be put back into normal society but into a halfway house as a last resort. End of rant and I hope that if those who do not fancy tattoos, just dont come to the shop.

  8. We dont need a tatoo shop in Menifee, there is already too many "branded" people and I dont think there is any space left in their bodies for another tatoo.

  9. I still think he would do a great business on Scott Road in the new shops for Scott Ctr. The community to the north is younger and he would have a lot of traffic up there. Why does he want to be in a senior area in a medical building any way? So, some property manager talked him into this place, get out of your lease! This was never the right place to begin with why would you accept it? It can't be the only place and the City Council should not make anymore concessions, this could start a ball rolling you don't want...others will come and say, 'well you did it for him, why not me?' think will happen.....Keep your head up bez you will find a 'better place'...

  10. People who say things are unconstitutional should read and under the U.S. Constitution (and California Constitution) before they cite themselves as Constitutional experts. As they should know, if there is a demonstrated public interest to protect, the government may place reasonable restrictions as to time, place, and manner on certain activities.