Bryan Planning & Zoning Commission Recommends Allowing Tattoo Businesses Downtown

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Bryan, TX A College Station business is hoping to leave its mark in Downtown Bryan.

The city's Planning & Zoning Commission unanimously recommended allowing the first-ever tattoo studio to open up in downtown.

News 3 looks into who wants to be the first and why.

The buzz of tattoo needles fill the air at Arsenal Tattoo in College Station.

"Essentially all it is doing is pushing the ink into your skin," illustrated Owner Cliff Collard.

Collard has been on a months-long quest to move from Harvey Mitchell Parkway to Downtown Bryan.

"I've got a degree in art and all of my guys and I paint and it seems like the art community is downtown and that's where we need to be at," he said.

They purchased this vacant gas station on Sims Avenue downtown in November and hope to open the tattoo studio here with an art gallery.

Planning & Zoning unanimously recommended allowing the change Thursday.

If the city council approves the tattoo studio here there could be some strings attached.

The Planning & Zoning Commission is also recommending that future businesses like this downtown would have to be at least a mile apart.

Bryan Deputy City Manager Hugh Walker says the council will ultimately decide.

"In Bryan we have to have two readings of an ordinance. So the first reading would, the first opportunity for the council would be July 9th and the follow up July 23rd," said Walker.

At First Friday many folks including David McMurray of Bryan understand why it's controversial, but says he's for it.

"Tattooing cuts across all social and economic and demographic strata. I've got a tattoo and I'd probably get another one of these days and if there was a tattoo parlor in Downtown Bryan I'd probably come down here and use it," said McMurray.

"I'm really under the opinion that they should let 'em try. It might be different than what they are expecting," suggested Sarah Eide of College Station.

"A lot of people that come in here are locals, professionals, preachers, teachers, medical professionals. It's all kinds," said Cliff Collard.

If he's allowed to make his mark downtown, Collard hopes to open by September or October on a First Friday.

Cliff Collard of Arsenal Tattoo has even offered to change his hours downtown and is considering being open noon to 8 P.M.

He adds they would not be open late at night.

The Planning & Zoning Commission has also recommended that tattoo businesses downtown be at least 3,000 to 5,000 square feet in size.

State law also prohibits alcohol or smoking from happening on tattoo studio premises.