Diamond Bar OKs moratorium on massage parlors

Diamond Bar City Council wasted no time in approving a 45-day moratorium on new massage parlors in the city. The interim ordinance will prohibit the establishment, expansion and relocation of massage parlors for 45 days.

In September, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 1147, which restores local land use authority over massage businesses. Effective Jan. 1, the new law removes the former law’s broad preemption of local massage ordinances.

AB 1147 gives local government the authority to enact regulations to manage massage parlors. The moratorium would maintain the status quo until the city has had time to complete the necessary studies and adopt new regulations.

“A friend at the Rotary Club came up to me and said the last thing we need is for another massage parlor to pop up,” said Mayor Steve Tye. “This is the kind of thing where we have to stay on top of the situation.”

“I’m concerned with the growing number of massage parlors in Diamond Bar,” agreed Councilman Jack Tanaka, who joined his fellow councilmembers in unanimously approving the moratorium.

Tanaka pointed out the number of massage parlors has grown from four to more than 15. Under the old law, the city had to permit seven new massage businesses simply because the owner or the masseuse were certified by the California Massage Therapy Council.

Cities have also seen an increase of illicit massage parlors which engage in prostitution and human trafficking.

“I haven’t heard of any prostitution in our massage establishments, but it has been a problem elsewhere,” Tye noted.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lt. Anthony Tachias said “There haven’t been any reports of prostitution or human trafficking at massage parlors in Diamond Bar. It’s been pretty quiet.”

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story MASSAGE.

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