Gilbert's regulations regarding pawnshops, tattoo and piercing parlors, and other businesses will be examined tonight during a joint meeting of the Town Council with the Planning Commission, Design Review Board and Redevelopment Commission.
This summit, which draws in pretty much the entire chain of command over Gilbert land-use decisions, is one of a series of meetings the council is holding this fall for discussion of separate topics, often in conjunction with the corresponding board.
Councilwoman Linda Abbott said at a recent council meeting she wanted to know more about the town's restrictions on these and other businesses considered undesirable by some, also inquiring about unlicensed massage parlors and hookah lounges.
"I would like to look at what the conditions are for those types of businesses locating within the community, distances and what that process is." Abbott said during a discussion of policy items at the end of the Sept. 16 meeting.
Pawnshops are regulated in town code under a chapter that requires them to be licensed and to report most transactions to the police, but there are no limits on how close they can be to other pawnshops or to schools or churches.
Tattoo and piercing parlors are permitted in four of the town's commercial districts and are required to be at least 500 feet away from schools, churches and day care facilities.
The Dex online phone directory lists one tattoo parlor and one spa that offers massage therapy in Gilbert, and no pawnshops or hookah bars.
A town staff report finds regulations on locating these businesses vary in the East Valley, from no distance requirements in Chandler to specific guidelines for check-cashing outlets and tattoo and body piercing studios in Tempe.
"Businesses go where they have clients, and typically Gilbert isn't interested," she said. "We couldn't even get a cigar shop going in Gilbert Town Square."
The meeting will begin 7 p.m. today in Conference Room 300 at the Gilbert Municipal Center, 50 E. Civic Center Drive.