Just weeks after business owners and village officials affirmed zoning regulations regarding salons and spa-type services on Madison, the owners of a respected business are asking that the rule be waived.
Team Blonde, 7442 Madison St., has been offering manicures and pedicures to its customers for some time, and recently added haircuts and styling to its repertoire. However, the business has never been licensed to do so. On Dec. 15, owners Jayne Ertel and Heidi Vance applied for the necessary permit.
Coloring an otherwise innocuous request is the recent review – and last month’s approval – of a local rule requiring there be 500 feet between such businesses on Madison. A petition signed by neighboring business owners who want to see the application denied was handed over to village hall Friday, and those behind the effort are arguing that the rules should be applied.
Sandra Capizzi owns Skin Care Company, 7249 Madison, and said for years she has been concerned with the unlicensed services offered at Team Blonde. In 2007, according to Capizzi, when Team Blonde was located at the corner of Madison and Circle, she complained to the municipality that monthly soirees at the business included manicures and pedicures. Now that the store wants to add it on a full-time basis, Capizzi said she’s worried about a precedent that could open the door for larger, well-known salons to expand into Forest Park.
“What if a bigger salon comes in,” Capizzi asked. “Are they going to be able to do the same thing? What happens then to us little people?”
Vance, a co-owner, declined to comment on Team Blonde’s application. The business has functioned for years as a boutique retailer with an eco-friendly and socially conscious agenda. Vance and Ertel have also been deeply involved in helping the commercial strip draw new customers and savvier entrepreneurs.
Vicki Bertuca, owner of Bertuca Salon, 7406 Madison, helped circulate the petition arguing against the license. The owners of Team Blonde deserve all the credit they’ve received for helping the community, she said, but the village should uphold its regulations.
“I think they have a great boutique and I wish them all the best, but there’s ordinances,” Bertuca said.
Approving the license falls to Village Clerk Vanessa Moritz, but not before she hears from building inspectors and other staff who must sign-off on whether the request is appropriate. Moritz did not return a phone call seeking comment on the application.
Commissioner Rory Hoskins oversees the clerk’s office but does not have a role in approving business licenses. Hoskins is familiar with the application and said that if it were up to him, Team Blonde would be allowed to run its salon.
“I don’t really have any issue with the services they want to provide,” Hoskins said.
The commissioner acknowledged the business has been operating without a permit and described the recent application as an attempt to correct the situation.
“Generally, I want to see businesses thrive,” Hoskins said.
One salon owner whose shop is very near Team Blonde said she signed the petition because it sounded as though her business could be threatened. She asked that her business not be identified by the Review. However, she has since softened her stance and admitted she refers customers to Team Blonde when they’re looking for a specific nail treatment that she doesn’t offer.
“The way she was talking about it,” said the woman of the petitioners, “was like they were trying to run us out of business.”