What started as a forum on the question “what is art?” at Jacoby Arts Center last night quickly turned into a sometimes heated debate over the placement of a tattoo parlor. The debate was over whether or not a local business owner should be able to move his tattoo shop to a building at the corner of Broadway and Henry.
The owner of Grand Piasa Body Art, Chris Hinkle, says he wants to move his business to a building he will purchase and remodel because he believes it is a good location and a good space for his business. Currently, the area is not zoned for that type of business, and City of Alton Plan Commission member Bill Stoutenborough says that the zoning board has been put in similar situations with other types of businesses
Click for Stoutenborough comment
Stoutenborough says he’s worried the zoning update will open up the area to unwanted change. Hinkle was part of a panel last night on the topic of art, and says he doesn’t want to find a different place:
Click for Hinkle comment
The Plan Commission already voted against the zoning change, but the Alton City Council could go against the recommendation and it will meet again on Monday as the Committee of the Whole at 7:00pm and as the full council next Wednesday at 7:30pm. A panel of local experts including Hinkle, Meredith Elloitt, co-owner of Milton Schoolhouse, Ron Abraham, retired SIUE professor and volunteer with Jacoby Arts Center, Principia College Professor Eric Gray and LCCC Professor Jim Price also took part in the event.