County officials are looking to tweak the existing massage ordinance to prevent workers from wearing bikinis and loitering after hours and to free San Francisco International Airport’s round-the-clock operators from time restrictions.
The latest proposed cleanup would clarify several factors including the type of outer garments worn by workers, prevent establishments from covering the lobby windows to block inspectors from seeing inside and the accessibility authorities have to inspect business records.
“Technically, for instance, the way it is written now, workers can wear bathing suits,” said Sheriff Greg Munks.
Munks and Health System Director Jean Fraser will ask the Board of Supervisors at its Tuesday meeting to introduce an ordinance with the recommended amendment. The changes are “stuff that was unforeseen or new things that have come up,” Munks said.
County staff is also separately looking at zoning issues that might possibly restrict further where massage businesses are located in the unincorporated areas of the county but that is unrelated to the proposed ordinance.
Unincorporated San Mateo County currently is home to six massage parlors in North Fair Oaks. There were eight but two have been shut down, Munks said.
One proposed amendment would mandate a business either keep its records in an unlocked area or give on-site employees access so that inspectors during regular hours are not told they cannot have the documents.
Another change would prevent business owners serving or appealing a suspension, revocation or fine from selling or transferring their business during that period.
“Right now, it’s pretty easy for them to transfer the license to another operator and keep going on like business as usual,” Munks said.
The county’s ordinance has been very helpful in controlling the massage industry, he said.
San Mateo County has oversight of the establishment through zoning, business licenses and registration but practitioners may also voluntarily receive a certificate from the state California Massage Therapy Council. The certificate lets a worker practice in any city or county without a local permit. The 2009 shift to the state was meant to free practitioners from background checks and license fees in any and all cities where they worked. Counties and cities can’t impose more stringent or different requirements on massage workers than those from the state.
The Board of Supervisors meets 9 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11 in Board Chambers, 400 County Government Center, Redwood City.
(650) 344-5200 ext. 102