HUNTINGTON BEACH : Council to Discuss Tattoo Parlor Issues

The City Council tonight is scheduled to debate whether Huntington Beach should join a growing list of Orange County cities that use zoning and health codes to regulate tattoo parlors.

Huntington Beach currently only has one commercial tattoo outlet, but the city expects more. “With interest in tattooing on the increase, city officials have had numerous inquiries relating to operating tattoo establishments in Huntington Beach,” Police Chief Ronald E. Lowenberg said in a memo to the City Council last summer.

Lowenberg urged the council to adopt an ordinance regulating how and where tattoo parlors may operate.

Anaheim, Dana Point, Costa Mesa, Santa Ana, Fullerton and Newport Beach already have zoning requirements or other types of restrictions on tattoo establishments.


In response to the memo, the City Council in August ordered an extensive staff study of tattoo regulations in other cities.

In the report, city staff recommends that Huntington Beach create zoning regulations that would keep tattoo parlors from within 200 feet of any residential area, 500 feet from any church or educational institution, and 1,000 feet from any site operated as an “adult business.”

The proposed regulations would also require that tattoo parlors only be allowed in areas zoned C2 (community business district) or C4 (highway commercial district).

In addition to the location-zoning regulations, the city is considering an ordinance that would govern health and operating standards in tattoo businesses. The proposal is based on a “model ordinance” suggested by the Orange County Health Department.


The proposed health ordinance, among other things, would require sterilization of all tattooing equipment.