Of more interest than the Hospital to most Alamedans is the prospect of another tattoo parlor on Webster. You can read about it over at alameda.patch.com. It may be that the proprietor of Inkies could have an irrefutable legal argument that would allow him to open up on Webster regardless of the City’s decision. It might be that city ordinances specifically regulating tattoo parlors may not be enforceable. (Of course, I have no idea because I am not a lawyer and I’m sure there’s a lot of nuance to this question.) In fact, maybe tattoo parlors must be allowed to open on the first floor even on (gasp!), Park Street.
What I came across was the decision in Anderson v. Hermosa Beach in which the 9th Circuit ruled that a ban on tattoo parlors by Hermosa Beach violated the first amendment.
We hold that tattooing is purely expressive activity fully protected by the First Amendment, and that a total ban on such activity is not a reasonable “time,place, or manner” restriction.
Of course, Alameda’s restrictions are not a total ban, but because they impose heavier regulation on tattoo parlors than other types of business, my (uninformed) belief is that these additional restrictions would probably be deemed unreasonable as well. This was all serendipity because I was researching the trial judge who issued the AB97 injunction, the Honorable Christine Snyder. She was the trial judge at the District level in Anderson v. Hermosa Beach.