Council agenda: money, tattoos

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Lewisburg's City Council has accepted $376,000 and described where tattoo parlors might locate here.

That's just a couple of the actions taken when the Council held its monthly meeting in September. The Council's October meeting was Tuesday night.

About the time area businessmen sought to open a tattoo parlor facing the south side of the Marshall County Courthouse, City Hall officials realized that the zoning ordinance did not state a land use zone where tattoo parlors might be located in the city.

It's illegal for local governments to prohibit legal businesses from locating within their jurisdictions, but the authorities have the power to describe where they may be located. Similar steps have been used in other Middle Tennessee jurisdictions when there's an indication that someone wants to open an exotic dance club.

Technically, the council amended the city ordinance pertaining to a chart of permitted uses in various areas of the city that are zoned for commercial uses.

Tattoo parlors weren't listed and so a new industrial zone was created. It's called I-3. Now, if someone wants to open a tattoo parlor, the land for the proposed location must be rezoned, a process that requires consideration by the Planning Commission and the City Council. Public hearings are also required.

As for the $376,000 - it's an "in lieu of payment" by Lewisburg Electric Service. The amount is calculated to be an appropriate payment to the city similar to the amount that would have been paid in property taxes if the utility were not exempt.

Regular monthly meetings of the City Council are on the second Tuesday night of each month. They're held in the second floor meeting room of City Hall and are recorded for presentation on the city's Internet web site.

Scheduled for Tuesday night's council meeting were some routine matters and some needed for continued staffing of the city's industrial development efforts.

They included:

* A proposed ordinance that would change city code on the sign ordinance. It's a step that is rooted in political candidates' signage.

* An agreement with CSX concerning a railroad spur owned by the city on property owned by the railroad company. It's to provide a loading dock for some local businesses, or any that want to load and/or unload train cars.

* Appointments of two new members of the city's Industrial Development Board. Five men's applications have been forwarded by the IDB.

* A second vote on the city's Occupational Safety and Health Program. A public hearing on this pending ordinance was to begin at 5:50 p.m., or 10 minutes before the starting time for the council's regularly scheduled meeting.