In an effort to crack down on prostitution and human trafficking, the Santa Maria City Council adopted an ordinance imposing stricter regulations on massage businesses. [KSBY]
The ordinance, which the council formally approved on Tuesday, will require massage businesses to have a California Massage Therapy Council-licensed therapist on site or a new city business license. Massage businesses will also be subjected to regular inspections.
Additional rules include a dress code for employees and customers and limitations on advertising and hours of operation. The ordinance also bars massage parlors from covering their windows.
A total of 73 massage businesses exist in the city of Santa Maria. In order to remain in operation, they must achieve compliance with the new rules prior to the ordinance taking effect in 30 days.
Once the ordinance takes effect, authorities will shut down massage businesses that do not meet licensing requirements.