Meriden's Zoning Board of Appeals approved a number of different requests at a special meeting last week, including allowing a tattoo parlor to make a cross-town move, a Bradley Park area church to turn a nearby house into a rectory, and Metro PCS to build cell antennas on a Johnson Ave. water tower.
The owners of 's plans to move from their current location at 351 W. Main St., in Meriden to 930 Old Colony Road were OK'd by the board at Thursday's meeting.
The business needed special dispensation as a recent city ordinance prohibits new tattoo parlors, pawn brokers and piercing establishments from opening up in Meriden – but members deemed a move by an existing tattoo parlor as compliant with the ordinance.
Owner Scott Freemantle is moving the store because of a lack of parking at the current location, he said Thursday, and the new facility will be larger as well. He and his son, Brennan Freemantle, who is the shop's co-owner and a tattoo artist there, plan to move Plan 9 sometime in January now that they've gotten the green light.
During the meeting, the owner of both a home and an industrial property abutting the proposed site of the new studio, Fred Cavallo, asked the owners about general traffic and shop hours during the meeting, and was satisfied with the response that about "five or six" cars are at the shop at any given time, and the shop is open from noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
"I’m not opposed to it – it's a commercial zone – let everybody make a living – that’s what it’s all about," Cavallo said after the meeting.
The was also successful in its bid for a special exception to use an existing residence behind the church as a rectory and multipurpose center.
The church is located at 85 Winthrop Terrace, and is purchasing a home at 108 Fourth Street for use as a parish house. Pastor Paul Browne said the purchase is in the mortgage process currently. He and his wife and his assistant pastor and his wife would reside at the home, and it would also be used for childcare during church services.
"Right now there’s only one room in the church that’s dedicated to children. But there's many different age groups...it's hard to utilize that one room for all the different age groups," Browne said in an interview Friday. "Having another place where we could take care of them would be a benefit to us."
Browne said he hopes the purchase will close in January. The Meriden congregation has resided in the Winthrop Terrace church since 2006.
The board approved a variance to allow two uses of the property at 528 Johnson Ave., a move that paves the way for Metro PCS to build planned antennas on top of an existing water tower there.
The national cellular network is installing antennas throughout New Haven County to improve its network.
"We want to fill some coverage gaps," said John Nestor, an outside consultant on the project.
The company plans to put three antennas up this winter, with the possibility of installing three more at a later date, Nestor said. An antenna for police radio communication already sits on the tower, according to City Zoning Enforcement officer Jim Anderson.
"The City of Meriden likes the antennas on either buildings and structures like that rather than on monopoles," Anderson said.