COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) – Columbia County has a new ordinance for tattoo parlors.

It states that new tattoo parlors cannot open within a mile of an existing one, and it comes after the county put a freeze on tattoo shop zoning applications that has now been lifted.

It also would not force existing shops to move.

“We had an influx of applications for conditional use for tattoo establishments, so I felt like it was a good time to step back and evaluate this classification of business,” said Connie Melear, the Columbia County District 1 Commissioner.

Melear played a large part in the passing of the law passing the new ordinance.  She wanted it to be beneficial for both the county and the businesses.

“In order to spread them out, this one mile between each other seemed like a reasonable way to do it,” she said. “We don’t want to keep anybody from owning a business or being an entrepreneur. We just felt like any kind of establishment, tattoo, liquor store or otherwise, that’s crowded into the same space on top of each other, they can’t be successful.”

Triumph Tattoo Company in Grovetown has been open for about four years and its owner, Keith Reynolds, has been a licensed artist for more than 10 years.

He says he’s seen some other changes to regulations throughout the years.

“Columbia County and Richmond County have varied somewhat, a lot of it being more of on the financial end what it costs to re-license and things like that, they’re going up on all of that,” Reynolds said.

But he also said this new law shouldn’t have much impact on his business.

“It doesn’t really affect us in the sense that we opened this shop, we came to an area where no one existed, and we moved out here to kind of pave our own way and be in our own lane,” he said. “And that’s what we’re going to continue to do regardless of who they let open and where they let them open.”

Reynolds said overall, owning a shop in Columbia County has been a good experience and he’s not too worried about new rules moving forward.