Tattoo shops will be returning to Downtown Plano after City Council approved a zoning ordinance change following months of discussion.

The ordinance change will allow a total of two tattoo shops to operate in the downtown zoning district by right, city documents show. More could be allowed in the area by securing a specific-use permit.

The vote passed with five council members in favor and three against during the May 23 meeting. Council Members Anthony Ricciardelli, Shelby Williams and Kayci Prince voted against the ordinance after indicating they were in favor of one tattoo shop by right rather than two.

Jennifer Bailey and Patrick Carmack triggered the discussion to change the ordinance after proposing to open an “upscale tattoo studio” in Downtown Plano earlier this year. The prospective business owners said after the meeting that they will work to open their new studio as quickly as possible now that the zoning change passed.

All three council members who voted against allowing two shops by right did indicate they were in support of Bailey and Carmack’s specific proposal. The business partners said they went door to door in Downtown Plano asking other business owners if they were in support of allowing tattoo shops downtown.

“It allowed us to meet all of the neighbors and see all the support we have in downtown,” Bailey said. “We have encountered no opposition from the people we have talked to.”

The former city zoning ordinance dates back to 2001 and stated that tattoo shops in Plano were only allowed as an addition to a personal service shop, such as a beauty or piercing studio. The new ordinance will allow a business that solely practices tattooing to operate downtown. The city defines tattooing as “the practice of producing an indelible mark or figure on the human body by scarring or inserting pigment under the skin using needles, scalpels or other equipment.”

According to a study presented by city staff, the cities of Garland and Grand Prairie allow two tattoo shops to operate at the same time in their downtown areas while Richardson has no limit on the number of tattoo businesses allowed. The cities of Frisco, Arlington and McKinney do not permit tattoo shops to operate in their respective downtown areas.

The proposal for the new zoning ordinance can be seen here.