“The moratorium ties my hands just as I’m getting off the ground,” she said.
Another problem with the temporary ban on new licenses is that it will limit the employment options for students graduating from massage school after spending thousands of dollars, others said.
Costa Mesa’s legal authorities want the moratorium so that they can change city laws to make it easier to crack down on prostitution operations that disguise themselves as massage businesses.
Given the city’s abnormally high concentration of massage parlors compared with surrounding cities — there are 54 non-chiropractic massage parlors within the city limits — police say that it would take the department’s whole Special Enforcement Detail working full time on just massage businesses to adequately regulate them.
One unknown in the process, however, is how long it will take the state to start issuing licenses of its own. A state law passed last year, Senate Bill 731, created a body that has been charged with licensing massage practitioners statewide.
The state certifications, once they are issued, will override specific city regulations.
The bill’s goal is to create a set, unified standard for massage licenses to neutralize the vagaries imposed on the controversial business by different cities.
If the state starts handing out certifications in the next couple months, then the moratorium extension could be rendered mostly moot as far as individual, new massage practitioners are concerned.
How it will affect new massage businesses is a more complex issue.
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