Last month, Doraville passed a new ordinance regulating massage establishments within its borders, and now it’s Dunwoody’s turn.
Dunwoody’s City Council is not trying to limit the number of such businesses. It just wants to put rules into place to avoid problems with massage parlors, said city councilmember Adrian Bonser.
Historically, massage businesses were governed by state law. Now, after a vote by the state legislature last year, local governments can pass ordinances regulating the businesses, Brian Anderson, Dunwoody’s city attorney, said.
Dunwoody officials are concerned about the potential for improper and illegal conduct at massage establishments where uncertified or unregistered massage therapists offer massage services.
Dunwoody Police Chief Billy Grogan said the city has not had any problems or complaints with massage businesses.
The ordinance, which was passed on Monday, restricts people from applying for a massage license within 10 years of a conviction of illegal gambling; any type of sexual-related crime; any theft or violence against person or property; any crime of possession, sale or distribution of illegal drugs; or distribution of material depicting nudity or sexual conduct.
Business hours for massage establishments are restricted to between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., according to the ordinance.
All employees and other persons on the premises must be completely clothed at all times, except customers who are receiving a massage from a state licensed massage therapist, the ordinance states.
City officials do not know exactly how many massage businesses are in Dunwoody.
“It is hard for us to determine the exact number – our business license database doesn’t break down the businesses by massage services,” city manager Warren Hutmacher said. “Some businesses offer other services in addition to massage. There are no more then a dozen or so places that seem to offer that service.”
The council also set the license fee for massage businesses at $200 per application plus a background investigation fee for every background check.
Last month, the Doraville City Council passed its massage ordinance, which increases massage parlor license fees to $1,500 and limits the number of the parlors that can exist within its borders to four per 10,000 residents, which is the approximate population of the city.
Applicants in Doraville who have been convicted of any crimes involving violence, sexual misconduct, drugs, dangerous weapons, human trafficking or pornographic materials cannot obtain a massage parlor license, according to the ordinance.