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The Vista Planning Commission granted a special-use permit on January 4, allowing a tattoo shop to open near Thibodo Road and Watson Way. The establishment will be one of two tattoo parlors allowed in Vista...until the population increases by more than another 20,000 people.

According to an article in North County Times, the city council lifted a de facto ban on tattoo parlors in 2009 but capped them at one per 40,000 residents. Vista’s population is currently 97,000, so two special-use permits for tattoo shops were available.

Frontline Tattoo, on Hacienda Drive, is the city’s first tattoo parlor, having opened in 2009. At Tuesday’s meeting, Norm Halus, treasurer for the Shadowridge Homeowners Association, urged commissioners to decline the permit.

“Maybe it’s a generational gap,” Halus said, “but tattoo parlors still have a stigma, and we don’t want one of those next to our community.

Chris Yvon, owner of the tattoo parlor, said the community shouldn’t be concerned due to the nature of the clientele and the caliber of the artists he has lined up.

“We all have backgrounds in art and went to art school,” Yvon told commissioners. “We have a lot of people coming in for custom work. We are more of a high-end shop. There isn’t any walk-in or hanging-out business.”

The commisson’s decision is final unless an appeal is granted by the Vista City Council. A stipulation for the special-use permit states that no piercings or any other type of body modification can take place on the site.

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