N’sider groups oppose the tattoo parlor

Some Jackson residents who live miles from The Junction object to the mall as the location of a tattoo studio.

The center is the location of Target, The Home Depot, PetSmart and other retailers and where Jackson’s John Craig is looking to open a tattoo studio.

The Sheffield Homeowners Association as well as the Homeowners Associations of Lake Trace, Ridgewood Park, Northpointe, Carolwood, LOHO, Fontaine Place, Eastover, Heatherwood, Massena Heights and the County Club of Jackson and many people who have taken the time to write letters, object to the location of the tattoo studio at The Junction, said Ashley Ogden, president of the Sheffield Homeowners Association.

“Over the past two years, the City of Jackson has consistently allowed vape shops, tattoo parlors, and liquor stores to open in areas that were not restricted to vape shops in the past. stores,” he said. “These stores opened in the more family-friendly neighborhoods of Jackson with planning department approval and its use of conditional use permits.”

The Jackson Planning Board voted to recommend to the city council that Craig be granted a conditional use permit, and the city council is due to vote on the matter on May 16.

Ogden said the Sheffield Homeowners Association and other associations oppose such businesses because they are adult-oriented and not family-friendly.

“These types of stores do not increase the property values ​​of single-family homes in Jackson or are a selling point to encourage families to move to Jackson,” he said.

The Sheffield Homeowners Association opposes all ordinance and zoning changes that do not improve the city, he said. The association fears that if The Junction’s tattoo studio receives a conditional use permit, it will open the door to more vaping, tattooing and liquor store applications across the city, he said. declared.

“Jackson isn’t going to turn around and attract families if the city continues to license these stores, placing them in family-friendly shopping areas,” Ogden said, noting that families and homeowner associations of Jackson seek to increase property values ​​and quality of life.

Craig, a tattoo artist for 15 years, learned of the opposition when he applied for a conditional use license for his tattoo studio. It’s the same kind of permit that Electric Dagger, a tattoo studio in the Fondren Corner Building in Jackson, received.

Craig, 38, and his fiancée, Dr. Lynn Nguyen, a dentist at Terrance Family Dental, are co-owners of the tattoo studio named Profane Studio. The name, Craig said, is an ironic play on how some people perceive these companies. Nguyen is not involved in the business other than to help with interior design, he said.

It’s common for tattoo studios to have trouble finding a location because homeowners’ associations often oppose them because they have a misconception that they’re lewd and vulgar, said Craig, who lives in the same neighborhood as some of the residents who oppose his business.

“I wanted to find a place that wasn’t surrounded by neighborhoods,” he said. “It was not Highland Village, not Maywood Mart, not Fondren, even though Fondren has one in the center.

“I found a place on the outskirts of town where hopefully no one would be upset that I was opening this business. I thought I had chosen a location away from any neighborhood associations that might have a problem. It is like they’re driving across town to have a problem with what I’m doing.

Craig said he signed a lease for retail space on the south side of The Junction that faces Home Depot and has empty space on either side. He’s invested $20,000 so far to get there, made no interior upgrades, and hasn’t scheduled any tattoo appointments there, he said.

The planning board suggested that Craig meet with Ogden and other affiliates of JXNUNITED, which is made up of representatives from homeowners associations, to brief them on his plans, and Craig did. He said the meeting failed to change anyone’s opinion.

In Mississippi, a person must be at least 18 to get a tattoo, Craig said.

Children sometimes accompany a parent who gets tattooed, said Craig, who makes sure the child has a comfortable place to sit. Many children are playing video games while expecting, he said.

With appointments booked three to four weeks in advance, Craig said his business was good. He works eight hours a day creating tattoos.

“Before that, I was running my business working in someone’s studio,” he said. “I just switch locations and try to serve the same people.”

Angelique C. Lee, who represents Ward 2 on the city council, plans to support Craig’s request for a conditional use permit. The use permit must be reapplied in a year, she said.

Lee, whose neighborhood includes The Junction, pointed out that a tattoo studio is located in a strip center at the corner of Beasley Road and I-55 Frontage Road and also in the Fondren Corner building in the center of the Fondren neighborhood.

Craig is an educated professional and entrepreneur who wants to invest in her neighborhood, said Lee, who met with him about his plans and also shared them with 15 neighborhood presidents in his neighborhood who support him.

“The Tougaloo Civic League is supportive,” she said. “It’s the neighborhood just behind where he wants to settle.”

The junction already has a CBD store and a liquor store as tenants, Lee said, and the space Craig wants to occupy is vacant. “At the moment, this space is an empty plot generating no tax revenue,” she said.

Lee said she invites anyone concerned about Ward 2 to contact her. “I’ve never heard of JXNUNITED or Ashley Ogden on this, and I wish I’d heard from them,” she said.

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