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Mentor Planning Commission amends Breast Renew permit for tattoo business

Tattoo artist Ron Antonick said he was seeking a more professional-looking site in which to expand his business serving women who have undergone breast reconstruction surgery. Submitted

By Betsy Scott,

Tattoo artist Ron Antonick recently opened this office in Mentor to grow his business catering to women who have undergone breast reconstruction surgery. Submitted

Tattoo artist Ron Antonick Jr. attracts clients from surrounding states for his service to breast cancer survivors.

But it’s not enough to make ends meet yet. He recently appealed to the Mentor Planning Commission for help while he builds the fledgling business in an industrial office complex off of Tyler Boulevard.

About two months ago, the commission granted him a conditional-use permit to provide his Breast Renew program at 6988 Spinach Drive. At the time, he had asked to continue doing decorative tattoos for longtime clients, by appointment only.

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However, the city zoning code steers such operations to commercial districts. His permit restricts him to specialized tattoo services associated with breast reconstruction surgery.

“The concern for the administration is it becomes precedent for the next establishment, which says, ‘Well this use is taking place down the street, now I, as a business owner, want the same opportunity that they have,’ ” commission legal counsel Joseph Szeman said.

At the March 2 meeting, Szeman had advised Antonick that he could apply for an amendment to his permit to do traditional tattooing by appointment.

On May 4, he did just that. A few people spoke in his favor, including some neighboring business owners and his attorney, Kenneth Fisher.

“Unlike tattoo establishments on Mentor Avenue, this is being conducted much like a high-end medical clinic,” Fisher said.

Daniel Rayl of Rayl Financial Services next door said he appreciates Antonick’s work, drawing three-dimensional nipple and areola tattoos for women following breast reconstruction.

“I do like the idea of his by-appointment-only status,” Rayl said. “I’ve talked to some unit owners. … We didn’t want a bunch of bikers coming wanting a bunch of tattoos.”

Commission Chairman William Snow noted that the commission was under the impression that only medical tattoos would be done.

“(We) were taken a little bit by surprise that they wanted to do the general tattoos, and I think that’s where some of this consternation came about,” he said.

“I think the devil is really in the details in terms of how this business is going to function and what the breakdown of its services are going to be.”

Antonick said he’d done five procedures and a number of consultations since he opened.

“I don’t understand it, because the entire process from making an appointment to having locked doors, specific hours, the client, the procedure applying it to the skin, including aftercare, is identical for either process,” he said. “So it’s just a matter of, ‘We like these people, but not these.’ ”

Snow asked whether Antonick would be OK with a limit on the number of aesthetic tattoos.

“You can limit me to one a day,” he said.

He added that he sought a setting more conducive to the medical referrals he is receiving from plastic surgeons, many from Cleveland Clinic.

“I needed the business, the area to be as upscale and professional as the work that I’m doing, and that was my intention for coming here,” said Antonick, who previously worked out of traditional parlors in Wickliffe and Willoughby.

He developed the service after correcting several “below-average post-mastectomy nipple tattoos.”

Szeman agreed that he offers an important service and said he would be more comfortable with the scenario if it’s spelled out that aesthetic tattooing is an accessory use.

Ultimately, the commission approved the permit amendment with conditions that aesthetic tattooing be performed once per day by appointment only between regular business hours, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

Up to three medical tattoo patients can be seen per day.

For more information on the tattoo service, call 440-290-8598, email ronantonick@gmail.com, or visit ronantonick.com or breastrenew.com.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Betsy mainly reports on the cities of Chardon, Kirtland and Mentor. Reach the author at BScott@News-Herald.com or follow Betsy on Twitter: @ReporterBetsy.

The News-Herald

POSTED: 05/10/17, 2:37 PM EDT | UPDATED: ON 05/10/2017

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