OCEANSIDE — The Planning Commission recommended an amendment to the Local Coastal Program to seal the deal on city zoning that sets stricter rules on allowable locations of tattoo shops and other regulated-use businesses on Nov. 7.
There was an urgency to go forward with the amendment, as the city wraps up litigations with Chris Yvon. He was denied a business license to open Power Tattoo at 603 Vista Way in South Oceanside because the location is not compatible with surrounding uses.
The business site shares a courtyard with a children’s art studio, is across the street from a children’s dance studio and is within 200 feet of 20 homes.
Residents have been outspoken about the mismatch of the business with the residential neighborhood that abuts a commercial zone ever since the license request was heard by the Planning Commission in June.
Yvon challenged the city after the Planning Commission denied the business license. He claimed the denial violated First Amendment rights, and filed a suit in federal court in July.
He also requested a temporary restraining order to prevent the city from applying its present ordinance to his business, which was denied. The ordinance stopped his business from opening as litigations continued, and the item went to the City Council for final denial in August.
Shortly thereafter the court upheld the city’s decision to deny the license.
Yvon’s license request prompted the city to take a look at its regulations and pass a zoning amendment in October, which ensures regulated use businesses have a 500-foot buffer from sensitive use properties.
The amendment narrows the allowable areas for regulated uses within commercial and industrial zones, and further protects residents, schools, parks and churches from being too close to them.
Rules also streamline the process for regulated-use business owners to apply for a license. Business owners can now apply for a regulated use permit without going through a public review process.
City Attorney John Mullen said the Planning Commission’s recommendation was a matter of housekeeping, and came about after the city zoning amendment was passed due to a six-week notification requirement.
City and Local Coastal Program amendments now make allowable locations crystal clear.