Oak Forest residents looking for artwork, both for their walls and their body, could have a new shop to frequent in the coming months, thanks to the Oak Forest city council.
At its Dec. 18 meeting, the city council approved a text amendment and special use permit for Peace of Art, an art studio and tattoo shop currently located in Chicago Heights, for a new location at 15337 S. Cicero Av.
City council members debated the potential business for roughly 15 minutes, discussing if the shop would be a good addition to the Cicero corridor, which already has two other tattoo shops.
"I'm not at all happy with another tattoo parlor," Alderman Rich Simon said. "But, I do believe in the free enterprise system and I will support it."
Aldermen were also concerned about the parking lot the business would share with All Seasons Marine, a boating and boat repair shop. The concerns stemmed from the lot becoming clogged with boats that can become lined up during the busy spring and summer months, causing a traffic flow problem.
"What if this business comes to town and because of the parking issue, they have to leave," said Alderman Dan Ensing.
Ensing added that approving the shop for either the text amendment or special use permit was like, “putting the cart before the horse,” and motioned to table the two items until a formal plan could be made to address the parking issue.
Dotson told the council that a plan could be in place soon and was hopeful to have something before the board in the near future. Owner Rich Kocis said that he was hopeful to open as soon as possible, maybe even by sometime in January.
After the council approved the two items, Kocis addressed the board during the public comments portion of the meeting.
Kocis said that he and his family are Oak Forest residents and have been for about 12 years. He and his wife homeschool their four children—two biological and two adopted—and that the business would allow him to spend more time with his family. He added that being a Christian, his shop was not the typical shop and didn't focus on the darker aspects of art.
"'Crazy' I do, but I don't do Satanic," Kocis said.
More information about Peace of Art can be found on its Facebook page, here.