Burlington, News

Tattoo parlor to make its mark on community

Plan commissioners endorse conditional use permit

By Jason Arndt

A tattoo parlor with a creative approach to mental health awareness is coming to downtown Burlington in the former Kravings storefront at 344 N. Pine St.

The City of Burlington Plan Commission, which endorsed a conditional use permit allowing the establishment to conduct business at a March 9 meeting, learned more about CLD Ave.’s mission in a presentation from owner Jose Gonzalez.

Gonzalez has about 20 years experience in the tattoo industry, working in shops in northern Illinois up to Milwaukee, and plans to offer personalized experiences for customers as well as apparel with a focus on mental health awareness.

Through his experiences, Gonzalez said the distinct difference between his prior travels, and owning CLD Ave. is his goal of presenting a comfortable environment for any customer.

“I want to be able to offer a little bit more of an experience, so they can feel more comfortable in a sterilized environment with an artist,” he said. “It is not going to be just a quick, here let’s call it a day, and slap on this tattoo. I want to be able to take the time with our clientele and be able to build that reputation and relationship.”

City Planner Andy Cross, of the Lakota Group, said the planned business meets all criteria and restrictions under city ordinance and state regulations.

Requirements include being at least 300 feet away from school lot lines, with the nearest school over 800 feet away, a window offering an unobstructed view of people in the waiting area, proof of licensure, and proposed hours of operation.

Under the proposed plan, CLD Ave. will be open from noon until 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, according to city documents.

Additionally, Cross said the proposal is unique, considering the establishment’s message of bolstering mental health awareness.

“The applicant materials provide a detailed description of the proposed business, noting it ‘offers a creative approach to mental health awareness through art, apparel and tattoo services. (They) provide a range of products and experiences designed to empower individuals and promote holistic well-being,” Cross wrote in a memorandum.

Why Burlington?
Bill Smitz, aldermanic representative, asked Gonzalez why he decided on Burlington.

Gonzalez said he sought Burlington after having discussions with his parents, who have traveled through the city on multiple occasions, noting the community is on the rise.

“They have traveled through Burlington for quite a few years and all they have talked about was that this area is up and coming,” said Gonzalez, adding he believes his business could offer a niche to the community.

Smitz also asked how many employees would be on staff at the establishment.

Gonzalez said he looks to hire another three employees.

Cross said the three other artists will also need to secure licenses through the city and state.

Gonzalez acknowledged he plans to train his employees in blood borne pathogens and adhere to other state and local requirements.

Raising awareness
Gonzalez said he experienced mental health issues as a youngster and wants to inspire others through messages on his apparel.

“We have seen that there has been a skyrocket in mental health issues and mental health awareness in the United States as of late,” he said. “We want to be able to spread that message across with our apparel.”

He said artists at his tattoo parlor will help devise ideas on proper messaging.

Plan Commissioner Jenny Amborn praised Gonzalez’s mission, noting many tattoo parlors don’t spread the message of hope through apparel, and supported the proposal.

Robert Kordus, another Plan Commissioner, also supported the proposal but he had concerns about privacy, considering people could see inside the establishment. He wondered if the actual tattoo services would be shielded from public view.

Gonzalez said he plans to maintain privacy for clients.

Additionally, Gonzalez said he plans to become involved in community events, where his tattoo artists could provide temporary tattoos to children.

“I am trying to bring the next level of tattoo experience,” Gonzalez said. “The one thing that I take pride in is my customer service.”

Student representative Hunter Henningsen, a non-voting member, inquired when Gonzalez plans to open his establishment.

Gonzalez hopes to open CLD Ave. in the summer.

Comments are closed.