A tattoo artist is calling for changes to Harrisonville's city code regarding tattoo parlors, saying the rules are too strict.
Dale Williamson grew up in Harrisonville and has a dream to one day open his own store in the historic downtown square.
However, Williamson said a long list of rules, buried in 10 pages of city code, is getting in the way.
According to the official city code, tattoo parlor owners are required to have received medical training on a level similar to regular physicians.
Tattoo parlors are also required to be at least 500 feet away from a school or church, almost twice the distance required of a liquor store.
Williamson believes tattoo parlors are being unfairly targeted.
"Why do I have to be this far away from homes or churches?" he said. "I'm not stealing children, I'm not pandering drugs."
Williamson has pushed on local leaders to address the changes he says are needed.
"I could go anywhere around here and make it. I have enough clientele and I've been tattooing long enough," Williamson explained. "I just want to take stuff home."
On Tuesday, Harrisonville Alderman Marci Milner explained that further focus is needed on the city code.
Vacant storefronts are noticeable in the historic downtown square, and Milner said by possibly loosening the rules, more of the buildings could be taken up with stores.
"We have a lot of old buildings that we would love to fill with businesses," she explained.
Milner acknowledged that the city code for tattoo parlors is rather strict and possible changes could be on the way.
"It's little things in these codes that need to possibly be re-looked at, rewritten, or adjusted to get other businesses to come in here," she said.
Moving forward, Milner said city leaders will examine tattoo parlor rules of surrounding areas before making a recommendation.
An update on the matter is expected to come during the next Harrisonville Board of Aldermen meeting on July 5.
Tom Dempsey can be reached at Tom.Dempsey@KSHB.com.