Is there a "right" kind of business for downtown Petaluma?
And do certain businesses such as tattoo shops and stores selling drug paraphernalia create a bad impression for visitors?
On Tuesday, planning commissioners tackled this issue after the Petaluma Downtown Association sent a letter earlier this year urging the city to revise zoning for businesses that have “a potentially offensive, blighting and/or deteriorating effect upon surrounding areas.”
These include head shops, where pipes, rolling papers and marijuana accessories are sold, tattoo shops, pawn shops, fortune telling businesses, even hourly hot tub establishments and soup kitchens, the Argus Courier is reporting.
“Every shopping district tries to create an overall atmosphere and this town doesn’t have any guidelines for that,” Jeff Mayne, president of the downtown association, told the Argus. “We’re not trying to threaten existing businesses.”
Among businesses protesting the potential rezoning are tattoo shops that say their businesses draw customers from out of town, who then stay to eat and run other errands. Others said tattoos are art and that casting the businesses in a negative light was unfair. The issue is expected to return before the City Council this spring.
What do you think? Are you bothered by seeing tattoo stores and headshops in downtown Petaluma? Share your thoughts below.