The District of Mission has all but approved a bylaw change that will restrict certain businesses from opening in the downtown core.

Restricting unwanted businesses in Mission’s downtown

Council has now given three readings to a bylaw zoning change that would ban certain types of businesses from opening.

Mission is one step away from restricting certain businesses in the downtown core.

Council has now given three readings to a bylaw zoning change that would ban certain types of businesses from opening.

Those businesses include arcades, tattoo parlours, flea markets, vehicle rentals, tobacconists, marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia, and cheque cashing companies. Existing businesses of these types will be allowed to remain.

However, one business appears to have avoided the ban.

Last month, Jozsef Kerekes of Decadent Ink Tattoos appeared before council, requesting his business licence application be approved to open a tattoo parlour, despite the proposed ban.

Kerekes ran a tattoo parlour for years in the downtown core before health issues forced him to close. He is now trying to re-establish his company in Mission.

Since his presentation to council, the district received 11 letters that supported Kerekes.

Last week, a public hearing took place regarding the proposed zoning changes. Several people attended the meeting, but before it began Mayor Randy Hawes announced that council had recommended that Kerekes’ request be “grandfathered” and he should be “granted his business licence.”

Hawes explained if the bylaw passes, Kerekes’s business and other existing businesses that fall under the ban will become legal and non-conforming. That means if the business closes for six months or more, for any reason, it may not reopen without special permission.

After making the announcement, none of the people in attendance spoke against the bylaw.

After the meeting, Hawes said Kerekes had run a store downtown for 17 years and has earned a good reputation and following. He also said the store would not be just about tattoos but also beauty parlour products, eyebrows and more.

“He applied for a business licence before we had our public hearing tonight so technically we probably had to give it to him,” said Hawes.

As for the ban on other types of businesses, Hawes said the move should help with attempts to improve downtown.

“We are trying to improve the image of downtown. We are investing a lot of money into it.”

Jamie Hayes, executive director of the Mission Downtown Business Association said the association is encouraged by council’s decision.

“We are pleased with the outcome and that Mr. Kerekes will be able to reopen his shop. These new bylaws are one of the steps mayor and council are making to help create a brighter downtown, and goes hand-in-hand with the upcoming $3.5 million streetscape improvements they are making in Downtown Mission. We are encouraged by the districts proactive thinking in this process,” said Hayes.