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REPORTING · 4th October 2013
Walter McFarlane
On September 23rd, Council gave first reading to a draft bylaw relating to Personal Service Shops in Commercial Zones. Councillor Rob Goffinet made a motion to give the draft bylaw 1st reading, and scheduled a public hearing for the 21st of October.

In a memo to Council, it was explained that Personal Service Shops are shops in which the sale of retail goods is accessory to the provision of services related to the care and appearance of the body or the cleaning and repair of personal effects. It could include a barber shop, esthetician, gym, health club, tattoo and Piecing studio, Laundromat and shoe repair shop.

I purposely moved 1st to get it on. As we look at this, if we see a need to speed up, we can do second and third after the public hearing. I dont see a real rush, and the thing is, with these Zoning Application and regulation changes I think were trying to go as quickly as we can while reserving the right to study and see the implications, said Goffinet.

He asked if there was anything which, by doing in the way he has, that would hold up the October 21st hearing. He was told no.

Councillor Phil Germuth expressed a desire to do second reading, which was one of the options which Council had. He expressed was in favour of the business.

I dont want us to be seen as restricting business and trying to slow things up, although we can do second and third at the same time. This is a personal service shop, because weve never did have anything like, Tattoos are in there, but we do have barbers and hairdressers, so its really something that has never come up before. I would like us to pass second reading tonight and move this along as quickly as possible. By not passing second reading, I kind of feel like were putting it out that that we wanting to possibly slow this down a bit and not expediting this as smoothly as possible for such a minor change to the bylaw, said Gemuth.

Warren Waycheshen, Deputy CAO stated they have to do 1st and 2nd reading and have a public hearing before they can pass 3rd reading because it is a zoning change. He stated not having 2nd reading would not impact the timeline. Germuth asked if they could move up the public hearing.

City Planner Gwen Sewell told him they would not as it was the first regular meeting which would allow them to meet the advertising deadlines. He was told the public hearing simply had to fall between first and third reading.

Councillor Mario Feldhoff stated this goes beyond the Tattoo shop. He wanted to hear what the Advisory Planning Commission had to say. This could not happen any quicker. Goffinet stated they would do this as fast as it was prudent.

The motion was called and carried.

Claire Rattee, the business owner who wishes to open the shop showed up to ask Kitimat Council if there were any questions she could answer on Monday, September 29th. She stated she and her husband had not lived in Kitimat their whole lives so they were not very well known around the community.

Councillor Mario Feldhoff asked if there were any preferences for the rezoning approach. Rattee stated she wanted to get to work. She thought the rezoning was a good idea, because Nechako Centre was for sale and there had been an offer. She stated a lot of the business was going down to hill and it would be good to have businesses there. She stated she is operating in the Nechako neighbourhood and it is easy for people not familiar with Kitimat to not find a business there.

She added she will be leasing the space off of Jim Thom and it will be good for his business, Pizzarama and other surrounding businesses. She did not want anyone to have any concerns about what kind of business they are going to be running.

My husband and I are both, not into the whole tattoo artists. Weve both been very closely involved in churches our entire lives. My husbands a Christian and Im Jewish. I know it seems a little bit strange that were tattoo artists but its hard to make any money off of art these days and its something that we really love. We try and run our business in a way thats not going to offend anyone, said Rattee.

They will not do any Satanic or offensive Tattoos. She stated there were some questions on the Kitimat Politics Facebook page questioning its location near an elementary school. She told Council people are saying it probably would not be any worse than having a bar there but there is a concern.

Were not going to have any offensive imagery on the front. Its not going to be anything thats going to make children look at it and think: whats going on in there? Were going to have all the windows that are going to be showing any kind of tattooing completely blocked off, were going to put graphics on them so children walking by wont be able to see anything thats going on in there because I understand there is a concern for that, said Rattee.

They will be contributing to society and creating jobs in Kitimat. They have apprentices in place including a struggling woman from out of town who has a family. Rattee added there is not much in town for her age group so they are going to be helping with this problem as well.

Councillor Phil Germuth wished her the best of luck. He stated people of all walks of life get tattoos. He stated his mother was in her 60s when she got a tattoo. There were no further questions so Rattee sat back down.

The bylaw relating to her business came right up next. Councillor Rob Goffinet made the motion to accept the comment from the APC and give the proposal 2nd reading. The new definition of Personal Service will not include escorts but will include liquor outlets and restaurants licenses in the permitted zone.

He stated this was an omnibus amendment which amends a lot of terms because there is a general term for personal services within the list of amendments. They did not want escort services to get any wiggle room from the proposed bylaw.

Feldhoff wanted to know what the next step is and how the bylaw moves forward? He was told there is a public hearing scheduled for October 21st and they can adopt the proposed bylaw afterwards. It will be posted on the District of Kitimat website and mailed to everyone within 90 metres of the proposed zone.

Councillor Edwin Empinado asked why they were permitting a liquor outlet as a part of the proposed zone when there was already a liquor outlet in the same building. He added that adding a liquor outlet near a school was a concern for him. He stated Council was concerned with increased alcohol use.

He was told by staff that they are trying to bring the bylaws it into alignment with current zoning codes within the community.

Empinado asked if there was some policy regarding the distance between a liquor establishment and a school. Administration did not know. Germuth pointed out there was already a pub and a liquor store in the same building as the tattoo parlor was going.

There was no further discussion so the motion was called and carried.