Zoning Police Cover Tattoo Artist In Bureaucratic Ink

  • The city of Columbia, S.C., passed an ordinance in 2019 that bans any tattoo enterprise from operating within 1,000 feet of an existing body piercing or tattoo parlor.
  • The result is a series of 360-degree exclusion zones around qualifying establishments, each covering more than 3.1 million square feet — roughly the size of 53 football fields.
  • So much of Columbia is off limits for Stephanie Melora, a tattoo artist with dreams of expanding her company, Southern Cypress Tattoo, across the street from her current shop.
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