How About This for a Name for the Ordinance – WOBOITYBOOT?

Say you live and work in a comfortable, middle-class neighborhood off Forest Hill Avenue in Richmond. And say a tattoo parlor opens up across from your office. The shop’s name is DILLIGAF, an acronym for Does It Look Like I Give a F—, which is kind of funny if it’s a tattoo parlor down in Shockoe Bottom but not so funny if it’s in your neighborhood. So, what do you do?

If you’re Kathy Graziano, who serves on Richmond City Council, you can ask the city to study the idea of banning tattoo parlors from residential areas. According to Style Weekly, DILLIGAF opened up near Graziano’s office. Says she, “I would tell you that if you had community input, perhaps an acronym might not be the name of the tattoo shop.”

She also raises a larger point:

Graziano says her proposal is part of the larger question of how to balance the growing trend in neighborhoods that have homes and retail businesses living side by side. New urbanism is only going to bring more retail into residential areas, she says, and the kinds of businesses matter. “Not that they shouldn’t go in there,” she says, “but the people should have some say.”

Why start with tattoo parlors? Graziano’s proposal says that “the customer foot-traffic generated by tattoo parlors may be disruptive to the environment of many residential neighborhoods.”

In all seriousness, it sounds like Graziano’s proposal is missing the point. The problem isn’t the tattoo parlor and its discrete foot traffic — the problem is the vulgarity implied in the name of the store. I’m all in favor of people living closer together, for reasons of infrastructure efficiency, for reasons for transportation efficiency and for reasons of environmental protection. But if we live in closer proximity to one another, we also need to figure out how to get along. I’m not sure that’s something that can be legislated.

Oh, WOBOITYBOOT… What’s that an anacronym for? Watch Out, Buddy, Or I’ll Throw Your Butt Out of Town.

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2 responses to “How About This for a Name for the Ordinance – WOBOITYBOOT?”

  1. Anonymous Avatar

    I think *you* are missing the point…the acronym is a symptom of the real problem she is afraid of ..the *people* who frequent tattoo parlors. She is probably certain that they are not the kind of people she wants in her neighborhood.

    I can understand this in that not all tattoo parlors are the high-end affairs you see on Inked and Miami Ink..or like the on eI dream of for my retirement: next to a high-end country club where I can tattoo boobs and butts of upper-middle class women.

  2. Ray Hyde Avatar

    Today I was in a meeting with some high level government employees. One attractive female executive was sporting an arm tattoo.

    Tattoos and piercings aren’t my thing, but “community input” has a bad habit of becoming an organized forum that works in favor of NIMBY’s. One thing working against new urbanism and mixed use is ninety years of increasingly restrictive and exclusionary zoning.

    We might have been better off with free choice of land use, combined with nuisance laws with teeth: if you can prove damage, then you can be compensated. The obvious counterbalancing argument would be that businesses are what keep our residential taxes low, therefore your compensation should be reduced by the amount of excess taxes paid by the business.

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