If Dartmouth area councillors have their way, tattoo artists will no longer be able to set up shop in their own homes, but must instead open their businesses in a properly zoned commercial district.
The Harbour East Community Council, which consists of the four councillors from Dartmouth and one each from Cole Harbour and Eastern Passage, is proposing to enact the new rule in coming months.
The ban on new home-based tattoo parlours would apply only on the east side of the harbour, and would not affect existing tattoo businesses, which would be allowed to continue to operate as they have been.
Interestingly, the proposal has nothing to do with stereotypical distrust of unsavoury tattooists, but rather comes because of frustration with a lack of provincial regulations for tattooists---absolutely no health or safety rules apply to tattooists in Nova Scotia.
"Tattoo parlours have come a long way since the day when your grandfather got an anchor on his arm," explains councillor Darren Fisher. "I'm not against tattoos---I want one someday, when the Bruins win the cup---but now they do certain things at tattoo parlours.
"You've probably seen the person cut a dime-sized hole out of their ear---that piece of ear that comes out is now a piece of biowaste, and that piece of biowaste, does that end up in the green bin? Does it end up in the refuse on the corner?"
A public hearing on the proposed ban will be scheduled next month.