OCEANSIDE — Oceanside Tattoo was given the go-ahead on Nov. 18 to open shop in the downtown redevelopment area.
Jason and Melissa Betz currently operate Body Temple Tattoo Studio on 3735 Mission Ave. The new shop address is 604 Mission Ave.
The City Council voted 3-2 to approve the use permit and downtown location waiver, with Councilwoman Esther Sanchez and Councilman Jack Feller voting no.
Sanchez and Feller also stood against a previous request for the shop to open on Coast Highway 101 in April.
“I don’t think it’s a fit for our ideals,” Feller said in April. “It’s not my idea of a vibrant downtown.”
Sanchez said she opposes the relocation because the service does not generate sales tax. She added the present location request is a “worse” fit than the previous one. “I don’t see this as a visitor serving business,” Sanchez said.
Oceanside limits tattoo shops, bars, massage parlors and other regulated-use businesses to one per 1,000 feet in the downtown area. More than a dozen such businesses have received a waiver to operate downtown.
City staff recommended Oceanside Tattoo for the long-term viability and rejuvenation it would bring to downtown.
Jason Betz said extensive community outreach was done to introduce people to the business.
“We found a negative gut reaction was generational, and not based on us or our history in Oceanside,” Betz said. “Once people meet us, they realized this use is nothing to be scared of.”
Councilmen Jerry Kern and Chuck Lowery have supported the shop through the two proposed relocations. Mayor Jim Wood also voted in favor of the business this time around.
Oceanside Tattoo has garnered support from the Planning Commission and Downtown Advisory Committee. Oceanside Chamber of Commerce and MainStreet Oceanside also stand behind the shop.
Most speakers said tattoo work is now looked upon as an art form.
“Oceanside Tattoo will be a positive influence to downtown,” David Nydegger, Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, said.
Oceanside Tattoo will have six stations and a 428-square-foot museum display, which will occupy close to half of the shop.
City regulations limit tattoo shops to three citywide. The owners have agreed to close Body Temple Tattoo Studio.