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Alpharetta City Council passes massage parlor ordinance
by Rachel Kellogg
July 17, 2013 01:16 PM | 2403 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Masseurs in Alpharetta have some new rules to abide by now that the city has passed a new massage therapy ordinance.

The ordinance, which has a goal of eliminating prostitution within massage spas, was passed unanimously at Monday’s city council meeting after being tabled at the July 1 meeting.

The vote was postponed when several local spa owners indicated that the version of the ordinance being presented caused some confusion about the permitting and licensing processes they are to follow.

One spa owner, Duane Goodwin, said it seemed excessive to require all supervisors and managers at the establishments to have work permits and asked for that part of the ordinance to be reworded or removed.

But the requirement remained in the adopted document.

“We did not eliminate the requirement that managers and supervisors obtain a work permit,” said city attorney Sam Thomas. “We require this of all managers and servers in restaurants that serve alcohol. We obviously have many more restaurants than spas and this has not proven to be an administrative burden.”

Thomas said the turnaround for these work permits is only about five days.

Additionally, the requirement for massage therapists to provide a copy of their state license to the police department was not eliminated as it doesn’t seem “burdensome,” Thomas said.

The adopted version of the ordinance does not require massage therapy spas to obtain a new license every year, but a renewal must be filed.

The previous version of the ordinance contained a rule that said therapists who restricted their practices to “hands, feet and ears” were exempt from state law regarding work permits.

“There was some confusion about that, so we did eliminate it,” Thomas said.

Though some speaker cards were filled out by community members attending Monday’s meeting, a second reading of an ordinance does not require the city council to hear comments.

But a representative of Spa Sydell went forward to file “constitutional objections” to the ordinance before council voted.

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