In downtown Plano, shops specializing in permanent ink are prohibited. But that could change. 

Due to a 2001 ordinance, tattoo parlors are banned in the city’s downtown. Plano isn’t unique in this regard: tattoo shops are also not allowed in downtown Garland and Arlington. NBC5 reports that Grand Prairie, however, allows tattoo parlors downtown in limited numbers and requires them to have permits. 

The Plano ordinance does not ban shops from offering tattoos as a side business or “accessory” service. 

In February 2022, tattoo artist Jennifer Bailey told the Plano Planning and Zoning Commission that she and her business partner wanted to open “an upscale tattoo and permanent cosmetics studio.” The business would be located in an empty space on K Avenue that was previously home to the long-shuttered Ashes Smokes and Tattoos.

According to the original draft proposal, a maximum of three tattoo and permanent cosmetics shops would be permitted in the area. (Body piercing is also included in the proposal.) But, as Community Impact notes, the number of shops has now been changed to two. 

NBC5 reports that some downtown Plano businesses are not thrilled with the possibility of tattoo parlors setting up shop. Others, however, welcome the idea. 

“As a small business owner, I’d rather see something in the building than an empty building sitting there,” Meagan Waters, owner of Lyla’s Clothing, Decor and More, told the station. “Some of these buildings have sat empty for quite a while.”

Even if tattoo parlors are allowed in downtown Plano, there could still be restrictions, including where they are located. Currently, tattoo shops are banned from being 1,000 feet from homes, schools and religious facilities. The 1,000-foot restriction would nix the possibility of tattoo shops from the entire downtown area. Therefore, the City Council might reduce the area to a 300-foot buffer.

According to KRLD, Plano’s Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously in late March to hold a public hearing regarding the issue. It will be held on May 2. 

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Brian Ashcraft

A native of North Texas, Brian Ashcraft previously lived in Japan for over two decades. He has authored six books, including the award-winning Japanese Whisky and The Japanese Sake Bible. Prior to joining...