Permit Granted to Lowlife Tattoo

Aldermen voted 7-1 to uphold a zoning permit for Lowlife Tattoo, a business located on Archibald Yell Blvd.

The tattoo parlor’s right to operate in the location was called into question after it was discovered the owner had not obtained the correct permit. And, because of zoning regulations for downtown general, not all businesses are allowed to set up shop in the area. Instead, businesses, such as tattoo parlors, must obtain conditional-use permits, which are granted on a case-by-case basis only if the business is compatible with the area.

Alan Ostner, president of the neighborhood association, spoke against the tattoo shop in the location because of the parlor’s late-night hours and the gravel parking lot. He also said surrounding property values would decrease with the tattoo shop in operation.

This area of town is “full of flavors,” Ostner said, but that “doesn’t mean everything is compatible.”

Collin Wilkins, the owner of Lowlife Tattoo, said he walked the streets of the neighborhood to gain support for his shop.

“I’m not going to do anything to try and tear down the image of Fayetteville,” Wilkins said. “I’m just trying to start a business here.”

Alderman Kyle Cook said because Wilkins rents the building, any concerns about property improvements should fall to the landlord, and not to the tenant.

Back in December, the Planning Commission decided to grant the conditional-use permit, but three City Council members, Adella Gray and Brenda Thiel of Ward 1 and Shirley Lucas of Ward 4, appealed that decision, leaving the final say up to the council.

In the end, Lucas cast the only dissenting vote.

Also, in a 5-3 vote, City Council members approved the development for Villas at Stonebridge, a 350-unit neighborhood in southeast Fayetteville.

Members of the council commended the design of the proposed neighborhood, citing the plans for a city park and the variety of housing options from ranging from 700 to 4,000 square feet dwellings.

Alderman Adella Gray said it was time for Fayetteville to begin developing in the area.

“We have to keep in mind something is going in there,” she said. “I would much rather a beautifully-planned development like this.”

The 50-acre development located south of Hwy 16 will be completed in five phases over seven to ten years, the developer said.

Council members Kyle Cook, Sarah Lewis and Matthew Petty opposed the development.

The council’s vote overturned the Planning Commission’s 3-4 decision to reject the project. In the original decision, the development was denied because the Villas at Stonebridge would be relatively isolated, and the infrastructure around the development could not support the density of the proposed neighborhood, according to the staff report.

In other business, the City Council unanimously approved a resolution opposing state legislation concerning pensions for city employees. According to the council’s resolution, the proposed legislation would create an “unfunded mandate upon city taxpayers” and would remove the council’s power to “control its budgetary expenses.”

Mayor Lioneld Jordan said he brought the issue to the council because if the legislation passed, it could cause “a serious situation” for pensioners and for the city.