Do Tattoo Businesses, Headshops Give Negative Impression of City?

City contemplating rewriting zoning laws to bar some businesses from opening downtown


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.

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C Rogers December 16, 2012 at 12:58 AM
None of the businesses mentioned offended me either. What about some of these old, ratty bars? I find the Hideaway more offensive than a Tattoo shop.
ARSONVICTIM December 16, 2012 at 05:56 PM
Why don't we focus on more important things in Petaluma. I see so many for lease signs all over Petaluma. Some have been there for 8 years. What a stupid story this is. What about the homeless shelter behind goodwill bringing more crime to Petaluma.
Helena December 17, 2012 at 08:11 PM
The "for lease" signs up for years on the same properties simply indicate that folks who want to rent a spce are inhibited by the astronomical prices that landlords are asking. Also, Kentucky St and Pet. Boulevard are much less interesting for visiters who come to shop, with so many spaces being taken by more nail shops and exercise/workout/yoga studios. They can survive very nicely on back streets and shoping centers, but add nothing to the charm of the two main streets downtown.
drew washer December 17, 2012 at 08:51 PM
Exactly how sterile and colorless do we want our downtown to be... ?
Rhoda Schatzel-Svensson December 17, 2012 at 11:05 PM
Leave downtown alone, it is beautiful and eclectic. If you don't like "head shops" and tattoo parlors keep walking I am sure you will find something you do like. I believe that is why we have such a vibrant downtown; it is fun and interesting instead of boring and predictable. Why don't you find a way to make it better for everyone instead of trying to decide who you want to exclude.


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