Following council approval Feb. 22, tattoo parlors and body piercing studios will now be allowed in three different zoning districts in Cedar Park.

Tattoo parlors and body piercing studios are now allowed—with an authorized special-use permit—in the following zoning districts:
  • Heavy commercial
  • General business
  • Light industrial
Some context

Prior to council’s Feb. 22 approval of the zoning ordinance amendment, tattoo parlors and body piercing studios were only permitted in heavy commercial zoning districts with a special-use permit.

A few months ago, city staff recommended the following amendments to the previous zoning ordinance:
  • Be able to allow tattoo parlor, body piercing studio use with approval of special-use permit in the general business zoning district
  • Allow the use to be permitted by right in heavy commercial and light industrial zoning districts
Council was not in support of permitting the use by right in any of the zoning districts, but instead, by the approval of a special-use permit. The only difference is that now the use is allowed in light industrial and general business zoning districts.

What officials are saying

Currently, there are no tattoo parlors or body piercing studios in Cedar Park.

However, some council members supported the idea of amending the zoning ordinance to encourage the use more in the city and to better align with the desires of residents.

“It is important to a lot of people, and yes, [residents] can go somewhere else [for a tattoo],” council member Anne Duffy said at the Feb. 22 City Council meeting. “But why not be able to live, work and play and get tattoos in Cedar Park.”

Mayor Jim Penniman-Morin said it’s good for governments to analyze rules that may be “outdated.”

“Wouldn’t it be great if governments up and down looked at rules that maybe have outlived their purpose and can go away and make people’s lives easier and simpler,” he said.

The takeaway

Officials said there have been some people interested in bringing tattoo parlors or body piercing studios to the city in the past. However, as of late February, there are none in the pipeline.