At a community meeting on a proposed tattoo parlor Monday night, several residents spoke passionately against the proposal and one opponent was asked to leave the meeting.
Eric C. Waite requested a conditional use permit allowing a tattoo and body piercing parlor in Water Tower Shopping Center on Iron Bridge Road.
The Planning Commission approved the request at its Oct. 19 meeting, where no one spoke against the proposal. But, after hearing pleas from residents, the Board of Supervisors last month sent the case back to the commission.
During Monday’s meeting, several residents asked questions of Waite, who said he’d lived in the area for six years. Waite fielded questions about the training tattoo artists receive and why he picked the location, among other topics.
“Tattoo shops will always make money,” he said, and he picked the proposed location because people from some surrounding areas have to pass by it to get to tattoo parlors in other jurisdictions.
Resident Phil Lohr said he was confronted outside the supervisors meeting by one of Waite’s associates. Resident Judy Stoneman said she was “screamed and yelled at.” Waite said he knew who the man was “and that’s why he is no longer with us.”
Lohr and Stoneman said they’d been receiving threatening phone calls. Stoneman said police were investigating the calls.
“The neighborhood residents in this area are not going to be intimidated,” Lohr said.
Commission Chairman William Brown said he hoped no one would be intimidated, which began an exchange with resident Bill Baker. Baker had earlier said Brown was brushing him off when he asked whether the tattoo parlor on Hull Street Road had caused area crime to increase.
Brown said civility and decorum would prevail, and asked Baker to leave. When Baker refused, a deputy asked him to leave. Bermuda Supervisor Dorothy Jaeckle asked Baker to allow the meeting to continue, which he did.
Lohr said he didn’t oppose tattoo parlors or Waite, but he didn’t think a parlor should be in this area. One resident said she thought area bars, which created the potential for drunken driving, were more detrimental than Waite’s tattoo parlor would be.
The commision will revisit the case at its Dec. 13 meeting, which will begin at 6 p.m.