OTHER OPINIONS: Tuscaloosa council reconsiders

By Tuscaloosa News

Sometimes it just best to admit you were on the wrong track and start over. It appears that’s what the Tuscaloosa City Council will do with its moratorium on several types of businesses.
Even better, Tuscaloosa’s action has likely defused the escalating conflict that might be called the tattoo parlor cold war between Tuscaloosa and Northport.
Tuesday, the City Council decided to shelve its plans for a moratorium on tattoo shops, pawn shops, pay-day loan and check-cashing businesses, adult entertainment stores and several other categories of businesses. It’s also putting on hold plans, for now, to add those businesses to the list of uses prohibited in mixed-use zoning. The current zoning regulations already limit the number of these types of businesses that can locate in a mixed-use zone.
“I’m not going to stand in your way any longer,” City Councilman Kip Tyner, a champion of banning the businesses from the Alberta area, told tattoo shop owner Todd Boling.
For his part, Boling promised to build a tattoo shop the whole community will be proud of. We shall see.
Tuscaloosa officials wanted to use the clean slate that they’ve been handed to redevelop Alberta and other tornado damaged areas to be better than they were before the storm.
But shutting them out of Tuscaloosa would make Northport, which didn’t have these restrictions, attractive for relocation.
Now, both cities say they might want to consider a joint study; this is a good idea.
If a study proves that their concerns are valid, then officials from both cities will have the kind of supporting documentation needed to establish zoning regulations to restrict these businesses. For now, they lack solid evidence and backing off is the wisest course.

- Tuscaloosa News