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...

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."

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