Tattoo/Body Art Ordinance

Revised: 8/17/2017


The City of Santa Ana Planning and Building Agency is updating the City’s tattoo establishment ordinance in order to bring the City’s the regulations into compliance with laws regarding freedom of expression.

In 2010, in Anderson v. City of Hermosa Beach, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that tattoos, tattooing, and the business of tattooing are considered a form of artistic expression and therefore protected under the First Amendment. More recently, in Real v. City of Long Beach the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit determined that municipalities should ensure that there are sufficient locations in which tattoo parlors may operate.

Once drafted, the ordinance will be presented to the Planning Commission and City Council for review and approval.

Current Regulations

Currently the City of Santa Ana only allows tattoo parlors in the Heavy Industrial (M-2) zone with approval of a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) by the Planning Commission.

Community Meetings

The community will have a chance to participate hands-on in the ordinance process by attending the following community scheduled on Thursday August 10, 2017 at City Hall (20 Civic Center Plaza, Ross Annex M-20,  Santa Ana, CA 92701) Conference Room 1600 from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The community meeting will inform, encourage discussion and solicit feedback from the community to ensure that the ordinance expresses the vision, goals and ideas of the community as a whole. The public may also attend any scheduled public hearings with the Planning Commission and City Council for the adoption of the ordinance.

Project Documents

Public Hearings

  • Planning Commission – Tentatively Scheduled for Monday September 25, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. in Council Chambers
  • City Council – Tentatively Scheduled for October 10, 2017 at 5:45 p.m. in Council Chambers

Contact Us

For more information, questions or comments, please contact Jerry Guevara, Assistant Planner I, by email at or by phone at (714) 647-5481.