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Connellsville board approves use variance for tatoo shop

| Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, 5:12 p.m.

Connellsville Zoning Hearing Board members didn't take long to act on a request for a use variance that will allow a tattoo shop to operate as a business in a residentially zoned property.

During the zoning hearing on Tuesday, Stephanie Hunter and her husband, Robert, requested a use variance to operate the business at 325 S. Pittsburgh St.

The couple was renting space at 105 S. Pittsburgh St., but Stephanie Hunter said they thought it would be better for them to purchase property rather than continue renting.

Because they were surrounded by several businesses and a commercial district on either side, the couple said they did not know the property was zoned residential and not commercial.

“We are a block away from other businesses,” Stephanie Hunter said.

Code Enforcement Officer Tom Currey clarified to members of the zoning hearing board that the Hunters weren't asking for a change in zoning, but rather a use variance.

“If you agree to approve their request, they will be able to run their business there, but it will still be zoned R-2,” he said. “If they move or the business goes away, the property reverts back to R-2.”

Stephanie Hunter said they had the address for their business license changed to the new address and are anxious to get started.

Carl Ritenour, acting chairman of the zoning hearing board, said he is all for bringing businesses to the city and anything he or the board can do to bring businesses in, they try to do.

Currey said the business has one chair for patrons to get tattoos, but the owners hope to have a total of three in the future.

He added that if they do get two more chairs, they will have to have three parking spots. The business now has one.

The board voted in favor of the use variance, as well as an off-street parking variance that would allow customers to park along the street. Board members Mike Napolillo and Shawn Pilla were not in attendance,

The Hunters said they hope to talk with someone from Wesley Health Center to determine whether they can arrange to rent a few spaces in their parking lot, which is directly across from the business.

Rachel Basinger is a contributing writer.

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