Cities that currently do not license body art establishments may get requests that the city start regulating this area. Often local business owners prefer to deal with a city entity rather than a state entity. The establishment owner might view city regulation as less expensive, easier to obtain licenses and/or easier to negotiate any future difficulties that may arise.
The Most Important Question: Do We Still Want to Regulate This?
Even if the city doesn’t get these questions from local body art establishment owners, the city council may still need to review local ordinance. The most important question to ask is: do we still want to regulate this? In my experience, cities are reluctant regulators on this topic. Most of the cities that have called me for sample ordinances on these establishments were surprised to learn that the state wasn’t already heavily regulating body art.
Some other questions that it might be worthwhile to consider are:
• Can we do this as well as the state? • If the state is willing to regulate this area, is it worth the expense for us to regulate locally? • Do we want (or currently have) stricter standards than what the state requires? Will state regulation be adequate to protect resident safety? • If our current ordinance is less restrictive than the state requirements, are we willing to commit to amending the local ordinance to bring it up to snuff? • If local ordinance is currently less restrictive, are we interested in having staff assume new duties related to inspection and license issuance?
If the city wishes to continue to regulate this area, the new law must be reviewed carefully and compared to the existing ordinance – particularly the “health and safety standards” portion and the sections regulating home businesses. The city may have stricter standards than the state law. In addition, a city may choose via local ordinance to “limit the types of body art procedures that may be performed in body art establishments located within its jurisdiction.” (See Minn. Law Chapter 317, Section 2, Subdivision 9). This feature may be an argument for some cities to maintain their local ordinances.
Key Features of the New Law for Establishments
Under the new law, body art establishments may obtain a license good for three (3) years. With each new license issued, an inspection must be performed. Thereafter, inspections must occur at least once during the three year licensure period.
The law itself must me read for the detailed provisions on procedures and health standards. Some key items, however, include the following. Establishments must:
• Meet all local and state health and safety codes for buildings and not constitute a
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