Following concerns raised by neighboring property owners, the Sherman Planning & Zoning Commission denied a request related to a new tattoo parlor and vape shop recently. Neighboring property owners cited concerns over additional products, including cannabidiol, a cannabis-based product also known as CBD, and sexually-oriented products.
Representatives for G’s Mind and Body Alterations approached the commission for a specific use permit that would allow them to open a new location at 125 N. Travis St. The business currently operates at 2916 N. U.S. Highway 75 and previously operated in Denison for about 15 years.
“We hope to, if we are able to get 125 (this location), we hope to put in a humidor,” Kennon Morris, representing the applicant, said.
Morris said that would allow the business to expand the vape products it has while also offering cigars and other tobacco products. Morris said the business would operate on both halves of the storefront, with retail and tattoo operations split apart from each other. The tattoo parlor currently splits its operations at its Hwy. 75 location, but it is split from front to back, while the new location would make this easier.
Dub Nix, owner of the Travis Street property, spoke in support of the application. Nix said he recently invested about $50,000 in improving the property and is looking to move tenants into it soon. Nix said he had never been into a tattoo parlor before, but he was impressed by Morris and his business.
“It is almost like going into a hospital,” he said. “I mean to say, it was neat, clean and orderly.”
The commission received five letters in opposition to the request along with a petition featuring 83 signatures of individuals against it.
Among those who spoke against the request was Sean Vanderveer, who owns property near the location. Vanderveer said the city has taken many steps recently to revitalize its downtown and make it into a family-friendly area. Vanderveer said he was less concerned with the tattoo parlor than he was with other items that would be on sale at the storefront.
“When I heard about this, it wasn’t the tattoo shop that concerned me — it was the tattoo plus that concerned me,” he said.
Morris said the retail portion will be strictly for adults over the age of 18, while individuals under 18 could go into the tattoo parlor with a guardian. With regard to the CBD, Morris said his products are tested by a third-party lab and they contain no THC, the psychoactive chemical found in cannabis.
Michelle Cole said she was concerned regarding the name of the business and asked what the mind alteration part implied. She also expressed concern regarding the sexually-oriented items that would be sold.
Morris said the name was intended to be a play on words, based on the body alteration that comes with piercings and tattoos and the effect that nicotine can have. Morris said the business did not sell any sexually-oriented products, and argued that the novelties he sells are instead meant as gags or gifts.
John Arriazola, owner of Lupe’s Tamales, said he has been to the store and its website and has seen these products for sale. Arriazola said he is concerned about the image this business would create for the city, as the shop is located near two federal courthouses. He argued that the shop could create a lasting image of Sherman for people who are coming to the city for the courts.
Commission chair Clay Mahone said the documents submitted for the application only referred to the vape and tattoo operations and did not refer to the other products that would be sold at the shop. When the application was put to a vote, it was unanimously denied by the commission.
This was one of two requests related to vape shops that were considered during the commission’s recent meeting. The other request was for an SUP for a shop at 2002 Loy Lake Rd. The request was unanimously approved by the commission following a short discussion.
Michael Hutchins is the local government reporter for the Herald Democrat. He can be contacted at email@example.com or @mhutchinsHD on Twitter.