Last week, the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a tattoo shop owner had standing to challenge Long Beach, California’s zoning regulations. The regulations had the effect of precluding the owner from operating his business in Long Beach.
James Real, who owns a tattoo parlor in Huntington Beach, California, sought to open a tattoo parlor in Long Beach. Long Beach’s zoning regulations do not allow tattoo parlors in most zoning districts in the city; require a conditional use permit for operation of a tattoo parlor; may not be located less than 1,000 feet from another tattoo shop, adult entertainment use, arcade, or tavern; and tattoo parlors’ business hours are strictly limited. Real sought approval from the city to locate in one of three locations, but the city responded by informing Real that none of the locations allowed for a tattoo parlor.
Real filed suit under the First Amendment, alleging that his tattooing was First Amendment-protected activity, and that the city’s zoning regulations were not proper time, place, and manner regulations and constituted an unconstitutional prior restraint. The district court held that Real did not have standing to challenge the zoning regulations because he had failed to apply for a conditional use permit. Continue Reading Ninth Circuit: Tattoo Parlor Owner Has Standing to Bring First Amendment Claims