Tattoo shops are one step closer to being allowed in Downtown Plano after the Plano Planning and Zoning Commission approved an ordinance change.

The commission unanimously approved the decision at its May 2 meeting, following a public hearing regarding the change. The decision will next go to City Council for final approval.

The ordinance change would 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.

“I think that tattoo shops would actually enhance the culture of Plano’s downtown,” Plano resident Andrew Smith said during the public hearing. “I would vote in support of this.”

The ordinance states that tattoo shops will still be prohibited within 1,000 feet of any religious facility, residential area or public schools.

City planning staff first proposed allowing three tattoo shops to operate downtown without specific-use permits, but after discussion by the commission during its April 18 meeting, the proposal was changed to two.

The current city zoning ordinance dates back to 2001 and states that tattoo shops in Plano are only allowed as an addition to a personal service shop, such as a beauty or piercing studio. 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.”

The entire May 2 discussion and public hearing can be seen here.