ORLAND PARK, Ill. (CBS) — An eco-conscious suburban woman spent a lot of green space to start her business – then after taking in just one customer, the village of Orland Park closed her down.
As CBS 2’s Lauren Victory reported this Earth Day, Selena Carrion was about to open a vegan tattoo shop, her very first business — and now she can’t open. It was an American dream for Carrion, a daughter of immigrants.
“I just wanted to be able to do [my father] proud, and you know, proud of my family,” Carrion said as she grew emotional.
Carrion’s tears of frustration came weeks after panting walls, ordering furniture and hiring staff for her vegan tattoo shop – Venus Vegan Inks.
The ink she uses does not contain any animal products and her supplies are environmentally friendly. She thought she had found the perfect spot in Orland Park – around the corner from Vegan Tease, a vegan restaurant.
“I just want to be part of something and just do something — do something about everything that I’ve tried to do,” Carrion said with a snort.
His dreams of opening were deflated when the Village put a “This work is stopped” sign on his door earlier this month. Turns out the area of Orland Park where she rented retail space isn’t just for tattoo shops.
“My rental agent didn’t tell me I wasn’t in the right zoning,” Carrion said.
She’s also confused because her lease specifically states, “Permitted Use: Tattoo and Piercing Vessel [sic].”
The CapRock Real Estate agent involved in the transaction did not explain what happened, but told CBS 2 that Carrion was released from her lease and returned her deposit.
For her, that is not enough.
“All I want is compensation for all the work and stress I’ve been through,” Carrion said.
Who is responsible for knowing and respecting the zoning laws of the village? Is it the owner or the tenant? We asked several legal experts the question – and the answer might surprise you.
“In a commercial lease, it almost always falls to the tenant,” said Michael Zink of Starr, Bejgiert, Zink & Rowells.
The real estate attorney reviewed Carrion’s 35-page lease for CBS 2 and pointed to a small paragraph about tenant liability.
“No matter what kind of business they open, they’ll have to research what the local laws are, whether it’s zoning, municipal or whatever,” Zink said, referring to a tenant.
“I’m not giving up,” Carrion said.
She is determined that her vegan ink drawings will find a home somewhere.
CBS 2 questioned why the rental agent allowed the tattoo artist to sign a lease in the first place if she wasn’t zoned to be at that rental location. He said she should have applied for a special-use zoning permit – but Orland Park officials confirm that wouldn’t have mattered because tattoo shops weren’t allowed in that area of ‘Orland Park for almost 30 years.