PROPOSED NEW LAW WOULD ALLOW CITIES TO REGULATE MASSAGE PARLORS

PROPOSED NEW LAW WOULD ALLOW CITIES TO REGULATE MASSAGE PARLORS

State lawmakers proposed new legislation on Wednesday for the regulation of massage therapy in California that would give cities more power to regulate massage parlors. Cities have complained for years that the 2008 Massage Therapy Law prohibited them from enacting laws to regulate massage parlors, and since the law went into effect, the number of massage businesses has increased dramatically. Yucca Valley currently has 13 licensed massage parlors, and Twentynine Palms has nine. While Twentynine Palms, Yucca Valley, and Sheriff’s officials stressed that they did not want to cast aspersions on legitimate massage businesses, they did acknowledge that—at least in the past—some massage parlors foster illicit and illegal activity. Assemblyman Chris Holden of Pasadena, co-sponsor of the bill, said the proposed Massage Therapy Act of 2014 will permit local cities to regulate zoning for massage parlors. “This bill removes the most detrimental parts of the law and ensures the control over planning of our communities is handed back to people, not business owners with bad intentions.” The proposed law also raises professional standards for massage, prohibits businesses from posting suggestive sexual ads in the newspaper, and requires additional training hours to receive a massage therapist license. Twentynine Palms’ Interim Community Development Director Matt McCleary said the city was supportive of the proposed law. “The city’s responsibility is looking after the health, safety, and welfare of residents.” And Yucca Valley’s Deputy Town Manager Shane Stueckle agreed, saying that changes are needed to address the explosion of massage parlors.

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