Residents upset after Flushing planning commission approves tattoo studio in their neighborhood

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FLUSHING, Michigan (WJRT) - (08/8/17) - A vacant building in Flushing will soon be home to a new tattoo studio.

The planning commission approved a special use permit for the owner unanimously, but not everyone is thrilled with the idea.

The building is located on a busy street, adjacent to a residential neighborhood.

It's zoned as a 'Local Business District', which is narrowly defined as an area designed for the convenience shopping of persons residing in adjacent residential areas, so the owner had to apply for a "special use" permit.

Some residents we spoke with on Tuesday say they don't feel it's a good fit for their neighborhood.

"It's a different type of clientele that I'm not comfortable with here in this neighborhood," noted long time Flushing resident Rod Rinna.

"The reason we moved to Flushing is because it's a quiet neighborhood, it's a secure neighborhood - we can go to bed at night feeling safe about it," he added.

Mary and Rod Rinna, who are getting ready to sell their home, worry the location of a tattoo studio directly across the street may negatively impact their property value.

They're not the only ones who feel a tattoo studio doesn't belong in an area zoned as a 'Local Business District'.

Ronald Johnson feels the business would be better suited in a 'General Business District'. He says he felt like the planning commission had already made up its mind before Monday's public hearing at which many residents spoke out against the location of the tattoo studio.

"They did not want any more discussion," Johnson noted, "they wanted to go ahead with their pre-ordained vote."

Not everyone in the neighborhood is adamantly opposed to the idea of having a tattoo parlor as a neighbor.

'People gave me a chance in my business," remarked homeowner Dennis Janderwski, "let's give him a shot.'

Homeowner Chris Kurnow did not attend Monday's hearing but remarked, 'I'm always good for putting things in vacant buildings.'

There's been positive reaction to the news about the planning commissions vote on Facebook, albeit from residents who do not live right next to the property.

A comment from Mary Biddle reads in part 'Great idea....Flushing needs to do something with that building!"

We also spoke with the owner of the new business on Tuesday night.

'I think the element of the unknown is a very scary thing, I think if anybody who knew me, they'll know it will be done 100% correctly," Tortured Ink Tattoo Studios owner Tiger Messiah White said.

White is promising normal hours of operation with limited impact on traffic.

"The hours are eleven to seven, there are plenty of businesses that open later than I am and open earlier too," White noted.

No word on when he will officially open for business.

City Manager Brad Barrett says before White can open he will have to undergo an inspection and be issued a license by the Genesee County Health Department in order to operate what the state terms a "body art" facility.

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