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Elgin council to revisit permitting downtown tattoo parlor — again

Topnotch Tattoos 216 E. Chicago St. downtown Elgcould get some competitiafter city council granted condiitonal approval for two more tattoo

Topnotch Tattoos, 216 E. Chicago St., in downtown Elgin, could get some competition after the city council granted condiitonal approval for two more tattoo parlors nearby. | Sun-Times file photo

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Updated: November 26, 2013 6:21AM

ELGIN — A decision on whether to allow a third downtown tattoo parlor will drag on for at least two more weeks.

Earlier this month, by a 5-4 margin the City Council decided to deny a permit for Big Head Tattoos at 210 DuPage St. Mayor Dave Kaptain and council members Rich Dunne, Terry Gavin, John Prigge and Carol Rauschenberger cast the nay votes.

Wednesday night, at the tail end of the regular council meeting, Kaptain asked the council to reconsider its vote. The measure passed, with only Prigge and Gavin voting no. Then the measure was tabled with the same two nay votes.

Sources said the matter is under reconsideration after the council was made aware that there could be legal challenges to their denial to let the shop open.

The matter first came before the council in late August, when the city council heeded the recommendations of its Planning and Zoning Commission and granted conditional use approval to the owners of Funky Monkey tattoo shop, 73 S. Grove Ave., by an 8-1 vote; and to Big Heads Tattoos LLC by a 5-4 margin. Downtown Elgin already is home to Topnotch Tattoos at 216 E. Chicago St.

Prigge was the lone no vote for the Funky Monkey proposal, stating that he was concerned there would be an oversaturation of tattoo parlors and that he worried about allowing three of any kind of business so close to each other.

In August, Kaptain noted he had received three or four objections to Big Heads from neighboring businesses.

Marco Muniz of Streamwood wants to open the tattoo and piercing business on the first floor of the rented space on DuPage Street and have a private graphics studio on the second floor for creating tattoo and airbrushed art.

On Oct. 9, Dunne switched his vote from approving granting the parlor’s conditional use permit to being against it, in part because of learning that the building did not comply with city code because the second floor can only be accessed by a pull-down staircase.

Sources said Big Heads has agreed not to use the top floor, while the council is seeking assurances to that effect.

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