WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Wichita City Council voted on Tuesday to expand where tattooing can be done within city limits.
It all has to do with an artist who’s fighting to stay in his shop in Old Town and organizers of a proposed tattoo convention at Century II.
A few months following the opening of Afterlife Tattooz in Old Town, owner Thanh Do got a letter from the city telling him tattoo shops are not allowed in his part of town.
“We asked the city, ‘What can we do?'” Do said. “I think one of them advised, ‘Go around here and ask what the people agree to.'”
After garnering the support of the Old Town Association, Afterlife Tattooz asked the city to change zoning to allow tattooing in Old Town, which was approved by a vote 7-0 on Tuesday, and it will go to a second reading.
“It feels good because I feel like we’re moving forward with tattoos because I think tattoos have been frowned upon for so long,” Do said.
Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple says the vote will allow tattooing at Century II.
“There’s an economic benefit to this as well, not just with small businesses but also with being able to host something like (the tattoo convention) in the future,” Whipple said.
He says it’s time to change outdated zoning rules rooted in stigmas about tattooing.
Organizers of the planned River City Tattoo and Lifestyle Expo agree.
“It just, (zoning rules) kinda pushed tattoo shops into bad neighborhoods, mine being one of them,” said organizer and Addictions in Ink tattoo shop owner Bryan Parsons.
A tattoo and piercing convention is being planned for this spring.