The city of Fayetteville will have to wait a little bit longer if they want to get inked. City Council was set to consider changes to their Health and Sanitation that would have cleared the way for a tattoo parlor, but pending changes to the state ordinance led council to table any vote.

In May of 2018, Governor Nathan Deal signed a law making microblading, a form of eyebrow tattooing that scores the skin and implants pigment, as a legal tattoo. Currently, Fayetteville’s ordinances say tattoos may only be applied by a licensed physician. In order to allow microblading, that qualification would have to be removed from the ordinance. The city last amended their regulations in June of 1996.

Because the state has just revised their ordinance and the county and city have not had time to review the new version, Senior Planner Julie Brown recommended tabling the vote.

“It doesn’t make any sense to adopt the current ordinance if we’re going to have a new ordinance to look at in the next couple of weeks,” she said.

Robert Kurbes, the Environmental Health County Manager, shed more light on how the Fayette County Health Department handles tattooing.

“Microblading is essentially a tattoo that is done within one inch of the eye socket,” he said.

They oversee the facility itself, the operation, individual artists and training, and general sanitation. In order to open a tattoo establishment, two permits are required, one for the facility itself and one more the body artist that must be renewed each year. As part of the new state ordinance, the state will be taking over the permitting of the body artists.

Currently there are five facilities in the county permitted to tattoo with a sixth on the way. Three of them are in Peachtree City, one is in Tyrone, and the other is in the northern end of the county. Only one of them is dedicated to tattooing and body piercing, while the others only offer microblading.

“Microblading became an up-and-coming hot item, very similar in Fayette to our recent influx of mobile food units and food trucks,” he said. “Everybody wants to do it, nobody knows where to put them.”

While the county handles the oversight, Kurbes said it’s up to the individual municipalities to determine the where and who of tattooing. They will also have the option to make the regulations more restrictive, but they cannot make them less restrictive.

The item was tabled indefinitely, with a hope that it could return at the July 18 meeting.