CLEMSON, S.C. (WSPA) – Clemson City Council will hear a request Monday from the Planning Commission to develop an ordinance to regulate the proximity of payday lending offices, tobacco and vape stores, and tattoo and piercing shops in the city.

If adopted, the ordinance would prevent any new store of this kind to be established within 1,000 feet of another such store.

The agenda item form details why the ordinance is being proposed:

This proposed text amendment is intended to address concerns about the growing number of payday lending offices, tobacco and electronic cigarette stores (commonly known as ‘vape shops’), and tattoo/piercing shops locating in the City. While this growth does not pose a direct health threat to the general public, continuing to permit the unchecked increase of such businesses does threaten to negatively impact the City’s image and efforts to cultivate a family-oriented culture and economy. As such, it imposes a burden on current and future residents’ quality of life.

According to the agenda item form, existing businesses would be “considered to be legally non-conforming (i.e. grandfathered).”

“I think it’s a little unfair,” Jalisa Smith said. “I’m not sure what their motives are.”

Smith, the assistant manager of Purple Haze Body Piercing & Glass Gallery, said she feels like these businesses are being singled out.

“As long as I’ve been working here, we’ve always been working around bills that are getting passed and little laws here and there,” Smith said. “It seems a little like targeting. I’m not going to lie. But, we are very keen on making sure we are within those guidelines no matter what.”

However, some business owners say they would welcome the new ordinance.

“Clemson is not a very big city,” Dana Blair said. “There’s not enough room to put a whole bunch of vape, tattoo, and piercing shops out here. Overcrowding will become a problem with all these new stores.”

Dana and Jason Blair have owned Stick N Poke Tattoos for one year. They said, according to DHEC regulations, tattoo shops must not be located within 1,000 feet of a school, church, or playground.

The Blairs said allowing new stores to be built close to one another could affect competition.

“There’s only a market for so many,” Jason Blair said. “If you put more than what we have now, I don’t see it being beneficial.”