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Planners ink support for second tattoo parlor

Artist wishes to open own shop in Four Seasons plaza

Published: Friday, Nov. 30, 2012 9:00 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Nov. 30, 2012 5:51 p.m. CDT

Morris could be getting its second tattoo parlor.

The Morris Planning Commission held a public hearing at Wednesday's meeting and approved the request by Russell Modesitt III for a conditional permitted use in a Business-3 zoning district for a tattoo and body piercing establishment. No one spoke against the business during the hearing.

Modesitt is requesting the tattoo shop be located in the Four Seasons plaza at 1477 North Division Street. Modesitt is currently a tattoo artist in Ottawa and is looking to run his own shop.

Commission Chairman Roger Gilbertson asked Modesitt if they should be concerned with the shop being located near a liquor store.

"Their purpose is to sell liquor, not to serve it," he said. "I will not allow drugs and or alcohol in my shop, nor would I tattoo anyone under the influence."

If approved by the Morris City Council, the shop would be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. It would be closed Monday and Tuesday.

Gilbertson also asked if Modesitt felt Morris could provide enough business to support two tattoo parlors. Modesitt said it could, noting Morris is a large community and the location would also pull customers he already has from Joliet, Shorewood, Channahon and other neighboring communities.

"I work in competition everyday – it makes you better," said Commissioner JoAnn Gretencord.

Ramon and Lisa Valdivia of Morris opened the city's first tattoo shop earlier this year. Called Audacious Ink, it is at 100 W. Commercial St. — the plaza behind Walgreens on Illinois 47.

The Valdivias worked with both the county and the Planning Commission on zoning ordinances and health and safety regulations for allowing tattoo parlors.
RIVERPLACE MARINA

In other business, the commission heard another presentation from Edgewater Resources on the proposed RiverPlace Marina along Cemetery Road and the Illinois River.

The new plan is for seven condominium buildings that are 4 1/2 stories high, totaling 126 condos; five two-story townhomes, totaling 28 townhome units; 52 cottages; 59 floating boat houses; a community clubhouse; a 70-room hotel; 208 marina slips; marina business buildings including retail, boat sales and boat storage; and 1,023 parking spaces. It also adds a private water-skiing lake with about 25 of its own residences.

This presentation concentrated on the marina's partnership with ADM, an agricultural processing company.

RiverPlace has added an additional parcel that includes a partnership with ADM, as well as 220 acres to the east known as the Viking property. The east property will be where the water-skiing lake will be.

The commissioners had concerns with ADM's barge traffic causing concerns for people staying at the marina. Commissioner Jim Garling also asked about any noise and odors coming from their shipped products and trucks.

"Seeing barges on the river is part of its charm," said Gregory Weykamp of Edgewater.

There will be people who choose not to stay at the marina because of such reasons, but most know exactly what they will experience along the river and are attracted to the marina because of these same reasons.

The marina will use its boat storage and dry rack facility as a barrier between it and the ADM property.

ADM's comparable sites see an average of 37 trucks a day, said Brett Madison of ADM. But that is not individual trucks, he said, that includes trucks coming back and forth from the facility. The barges bring in materials such as fertilizer, mulch, steel and cotton seed.

ADM intends to start dredging at the beginning of the year, once all the approvals go through.

The first phase of the marina project includes the hotel, some cottages and the marina. The hotel is set to open in March 2014 and the marina in May 2014.

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