The Elk Grove Planning Commission on Oct. 7 unanimously approved a conditional-use permit for the operation of Old Town Elk Grove’s first tattoo parlor.

With this approval, tattoo artist John Laurent, who attended Elk Grove High School, will open his tattoo shop in a 1,175-square-foot business space above Bob’s Club at 9039 Elk Grove Blvd.

Laurent’s tattoo studio will be an extension of his previously established Black Wolf Art Gallery, in the same location.

The tattooing operation is located within the Old Town Special Planning Area (OTSPA).

This special planning area regulates land uses in that area, and had previously prohibited tattoo and body piercing studios from operating in this historic section of the city.

In 2009, the council designated those types of businesses as having a “restricted use,” based on an interpretation of the OTSPA.

Through the Elk Grove City Council’s approval last August, an amendment of the Old Town Special Planning Area allows for two conditional-use permits for tattoo and piercing studios in Old Town.

All activities of Laurent’s business will be conducted within the building, and no modifications to the site or the exterior of this structure are proposed.

The entrance to this establishment is located just west of the front door of Bob’s Club.

Included in the floor space of the business is a greeting room, a tattoo procedure room with up to three tattoo workstations, two storage rooms, a washroom, break room, a waiting room, an art gallery space, and a restroom.

Projected hours of operation for Laurent’s business are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Mondays through Fridays.

Laurent told the commission that with the many changes occurring in Old Town, the approval of the conditional-use permit for his business operation is the “right decision for Elk Grove.”

“Having more diversity is important to any city,” he said. “Putting in more art and artists to Elk Grove will only grow our city with beauty and expression. And I can’t wait to become even more deeply rooted into the community and start giving back, because I am from here and this is my home.”

Laurent added that opening a tattoo shop in Elk Grove will be the fulfillment of a dream he shared with his brother, Sam, a tattoo artist who died in 2019.

“To finally have (this tattooing business) come true means everything to me, my family, as well as my brother’s family that he left behind,” he said.

Commission Chair George Murphey told Laurent that he believes his business will be successful.

“John, people spoke very highly of you,” he said. “They set the bar pretty high, and I think you’ll meet their expectations.”