Ink dries on tattoo zone 

The city is molding the final draft of an ordinance limiting the number of tattoo and body-piercing shops downtown.

The proposal, unveiled last week to shop owners, limits tattooing and body piercing to certain high-density zoning districts, including the downtown area.

But the number of tattoo shops downtown would be limited to the number that exists now. In other words, the only new shops the city will allow are near the airport, at the intersection of Curry Ford Road and Semoran Boulevard, and at several places on Orange Blossom Trail.

The proposal didn't sit well with shop owners. Most were worried that downtown landlords, alert to tenants unable to move from their current shops, would inflate rents. Several owners were still wondering why the city is cracking down on tattooing and piercing; others threatened to sue the city.

"I can guarantee you that whatever the city comes up with will not violate anybody's constitutional rights," said Richard W. Unger, the city's planning bureau chief.

Shop owners asked for time to convene to hold their own strategy session. But only representatives of Inkredible Ink showed up for that session.

The city's planning staff will review the matter Dec. 14. It then goes to the Municipal Planning Board Dec. 19 and, most likely, the City Council in January.

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