CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – Businesses at the Chesterfield shopping center off of Iron Bridge Road near the Shoosmith Landfill don't have a problem working next to a tattoo parlor. But Monday afternoon, Eric Waite's tattoo supply store is closed. He can't seem to get approval from the county just yet.
Octane Tattoo is ready for business. Owner Eric Waite got approval from the Chesterfield County Planning Commission in October. When the issue went before the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors in November, supervisors voted to send the application back to the planning commission. Supervisors said they listened to several concerns from nearby homeowners who worried about the people the shop would attract.
To apply, Eric first needed to secure a location. He's now drowning in debt--- attached to a five-year lease. All of his neighbors support the shop, including a tanning and hair salon.
Hair For All customer Melissa McKinney, with a tree tattooed on her arm, is shocked she can come get her hair done but can't get inked.
"I think it's discrimination because you can have a beauty shop, you can have everywhere else where you're making your body look beautiful," said McKinney. "But you can't have a tattoo shop that some people believe it's part of making your body look beautiful."
During a planning commission meeting Monday night the planning department is expected to once again recommend the commission approve the application for the tattoo shop.