Boise set to redo massage parlor rules

An amendment addresses concerns raised by several massage therapists in May.

sberg@idahostatesman.comJune 18, 2013 

  • If You Go

    The Boise City Council is scheduled to vote on updating the ordinance Tuesday.

    When: 6 p.m.

    Where: Boise City Hall, 150 N. Capitol Blvd., Council Chambers, third floor.

The city removed a requirement that minors have written parental permission before entering a massage parlor.

Instead, children younger than 18 can enter parlors as long as their parents are with them. The presence of the adult is considered approval in itself, Boise Administrative Services Manager Craig Croner said.

Boise's rewrite of the massage ordinance is, in part, an effort to discourage the use of parlors as fronts for illegal sexually oriented businesses without hampering the business of legitimate establishments.

The city proposed the written permission requirement as a way to avoid scenarios in which minors frequent massage parlors where prostitution takes place. But some massage therapists worried about having to verify the ages of young people entering their establishments.

That's why the city removed the requirement, he said.

"The last thing we want to do is hamstring the businesses," Croner said.

The proposed ordinance defines massage establishments requiring licenses as those that have at least two workers or two people working in partnership or other business arrangement in a "fixed place of business."

A single massage therapist working at home would not require a license, Croner said.

The Boise City Council is scheduled to vote on the ordinance, with the amendment, at its meeting Tuesday night. If it passes, as Croner expects, the new rules will take effect by the end of June.

Sven Berg: 377-6275

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