Massage Parlor Update
The City Council started off 2015 by unanimously adopting a 45-day moratorium on new massage establishments. As background, massage businesses have proliferated in San Rafael. There are over 50 just in the downtown area. [See map that was distributed at the January 5 meting] Under a new State law, effective January 1, cities can now adopt local zoning and business licensing rules that specifically address massage parlors.
San Rafael City staff wasted no time. The staff recommended the temporary moratorium to give them time to study the number and location of massage businesses, research alternative land use regulations and their potential impact, and make recommendations to the City Council for any changes to our zoning and other regulations governing massage businesses. The challenge, of course, will be to develop new zoning rules that minimize the impact on legitimate practitioners but maximize the impact on illicit operators.
The staff said that they would seek community input. We do not need 50 massage businesses in downtown San Rafael. We need a diversity of businesses to keep our downtown vibrant, safe and economically successful. Share your opinion with Paul Jensen, Community Development Director, through the City’s email link.
You can view the staff report discussion and the download the ordinance here.