The Sherman Planning and Zoning Commission approved plans for a new tattoo parlor in downtown only one month after denying a similar request in the same neighborhood. In April, the commission denied a request from G’s Mind and Body Alterations for a new location amid concerns of other merchandise the store might offer.
The most recent request was made by John and Sharen Arriazola, for a property located at 119 E. Wall St. Electric Age Tattoo, represented by Caleb Stone and Jayce Cogburn plan to operate a new tattoo parlor in the storefront and use it as a place to practice their art.
“My tenant was turned down last month for a tattoo shop in my building,” Dub Nix, who owns 125 N. Travis, said during the meeting. “I try to be a good neighbor down there. “
Stone said both he and Cogburn have both worked with Brass Rabbit Tattoo, also in downtown Sherman, and wanted to open their own studio. The new parlor would work by appointment only, Stone said. In addition to the tattoo work, Stone said he and Cogburn both paint outside of their tattoo work and the building may also feature some art sales.
“We’ve both tattooed here for 10 years,” Stone said. “We both really wanted to tattoo here and our entire careers have been based here.”
The request came just one month after the commission denied a request by Nix and Kennon Morris, representing G’s Mind and Body Alterations. In addition to tattoo operations, Morris said the business planned to offer tobacco products with the possibility of adding a humidor.
During April’s meeting several members of the community, including John Arriazola, spoke against the request citing concerns with what the business might offer aside from tattoos. These concerns ranged from glassware and cannabidiol, a cannabis-based product also known as CBD, to items described in the meeting as “novelties.”
“When I heard about this, it wasn’t the tattoo shop that concerned me — it was the tattoo plus that concerned me,” Sean Vanderveer said in April.
Arriazola said he had seen adult products for sale on the business’ website and was concerned of the image it would bring to the city as the shop would be located near two federal courts, including one directly across the street in the Chase Bank building.
During the May meeting, Nix was one of two members of the public who spoke regarding the application.
“I’ve given it a lot of thought before I came back down here tonight over last month’s (meeting),” he said.
Nix went on to speak about the apparent about-face that Arriazola seemed to be making on the topic of tattoo parlors.
“It seems really strange to me that Mr. Arriazola now wants a tattoo shop in his building, just 30 feet from my building,” Nix said. In his opposition to the request, Nix raised concerns about the possibility of children walking into the business and what they might see and reiterated previous concerns about the business’ proximity to courts..
Stone said he did not expect there to be any issues with the business, but said partitions could be set up to give some privacy to customers during a tattoo session.
Vanderveer also spoke during the May meeting, noting that his concerns were not over the tattoo business itself but of the side operations that might take place.
“We are not opposed to tattoo shops, but there are other things we are opposed to,” he said.
For his part, Arriazola reiterated his previous concerns about the other uses of the building, noting that a petition against the original request received more than 70 signatures.
“This is just a tattoo parlor and art studio,” he said, referring to the second request.
With the unanimous blessing of the commission, the request will now move forward to the city council, who is expected to discuss it in late June.
Do you think downtown Sherman needs a new tattoo parlor? Let Michael Hutchins at MHutchins@HeraldDemocrat.com.