News of the San Gabriel Valley since 1966.

‘Town Tweets ’

by Joe Castillo

by Joe Castillo


Massage Study ….

I have a habit of criticizing San Gabriel for many of the things happening in the City Without a Plan but this time I have to give them credit for the work they’ve done is preparing a study on the massage business in San Gabriel. On November 5th, the City Council will receive and review the upcoming report. The study provides some basic background information including the fact there are currently 54 massage businesses, all of which may perform foot and/or full body massages.  There are 276 independent contractors working for the licensed massage parlors, all of them certified by the California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC), a non-profit group which certifies therapists who meet its requirements. There are 27 massage businesses located along Valley Boulevard and 11 along Las Tunas as well as other locations throughout the city. In 2008, California enacted the Massage Therapy Law which stimulates three significant rules. The first is any person qualifying for a CAMTC certificate can perform massages in any jurisdiction (city) in California. The second is that any massage parlor employing all CAMTC contractors may not need to obtain a separate business license or permit for such business operations. The third is that if any additional restrictions are placed on CAMTC contractors and/or businesses using only CAMTC contractors, then all other licenses permitted by the State of California would also have to have the same restrictions placed upon their certifications and business operations. This includes doctors, lawyers, accountants, barbers and cosmetologists. San Gabriel’s Massage Law follows similar guidelines as the State, which is stronger and actually requires criminal background checks for contractors, relieving the City of having to perform those duties. The city does require that the business operator be on the premises during all business hours. The City has raised the question on whether a moratorium should be initiated to prohibit any further massage businesses for being opened. However, the Massage Therapy Law stipulates that any moratorium placed on massage parlor businesses would also have to be placed on other certified license businesses in the city like doctors, lawyers and accountants. The study did not recommend a moratorium be placed. In 2011, San Gabriel updated their massage ordinance which requires more inspections of massage parlor businesses and more business self-certification. Since August 2013, 96 inspections have been performed by the city with 90 Notices of Violations identified. Five citations were filed and 12 businesses were temporarily closed because they lacked an operator being on-site. These results have has a positive effect on the massage business community and an 80% plus rate of self-compliance has been completed. The Police Department will also use the information gained from inspections to determine if prostitution is being performed in these businesses. In addition, anonymous tips and reports could lead to further inspection. Over the past three years, three suspects have been arrested by the SGPD for prostitution. In closing, the city is limited to what it can do but the state could remove a CATMC certification if any wrong-doing is identified. On January 1, 2015, the California Massage Therapy Law expires so if you want to change how massage parlors are regulated, then contact your local state representative and let them know how you feel…

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