[UPDATED with Vote Delay:] Huntington Beach May Rub Out Massage Parlors

UPDATE, JUNE 5, 10:56 A.M.: Citing the concerns of lobbyists for massage parlors, the Huntington Beach City Council Monday night postponed a vote on an ordinance that would halve the number of such businesses to 30 in Surf City.

After City Manager Fred Wilson disclosed a meeting with the lobbyists will be held next week, the council voted to hold off consideration of the ordinance until a later date.

ORIGINAL POST, JUNE 4, 9:39 A.M.: It may not be a happy ending more than of Surf City's massage parlors tonight.

The Huntington Beach City Council is scheduled to consider an ordinance that would cut the number of such businesses in town to 30 from current estimates of more than 60.

The proposal, which includes provisions that would make it difficult for closed massage parlors to apply to reopen, comes on the heels of a city staff report that claims many of the newer establishments are fronts for prostitution.

The Huntington Beach Police Department, with assists from code enforcement, the fire department and the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force, on May 3 raided 20 suspected rub 'n' tug joints, issuing more than 70 violation notices.

Surf City Rub 'n' Tug Raids Net 70+ Citations, 5 Arrests, 3 Possible Unhappy Endings for Shops

At the time, three businesses were targeted with immediate closure, as the operation had been preceded by police vice squad raids that resulted in five females being arrested for alleged prostitution and other sex crimes.

The police department blames a supposed 500 percent rise in the number of massage parlors in town since 2009 on a state law passed that year that was aimed at regulating the businesses and requiring licenses of massage technicians. What it has done instead, police claim, is prevent direct  local regulation of the shops.

The public portion of the Huntington Beach City Council meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 tonight.

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9 comments
Mjlang55
Mjlang55

The highly unregulated parlors are often employers of women paying off debts and working for subsistence wages; are often here illegally with expired tourist visas; undocumented and or otherwise uncertified. The workers are not entirely operating of thier own free will but working in fear of the police or of their handlers

JON
JON

What goes on between 2 adults behind closed doors is their business, these places are harmless.

Dave
Dave

Let's just hope these "lobbyists" don't try to sway the CC by gving them happy endings before the vote. They should make those available to everyone.

Sam Infusia
Sam Infusia

If massage parlors are outlawed, only outlaws will give massages...

TheRefriedMexican
TheRefriedMexican

One consenting adult agrees to pay another consenting adult for sex. What's the problem? Bring it out of the shadows. Legalize it

Dave
Dave

What is the big deal? If it puts a smile on someone's face....

Buttercup
Buttercup

 Because one of those adults may not be consenting at all.

Human trafficking (paying off a debt) or for whatever reason...some of these women are not doing this of their own free will.

My question? How does cutting them form 60 to 30 solve the problem AT ALL? Just means the ones who are able to stay in business have probably greased the wheels of the ones shutting down the other 30.

Koolarrow
Koolarrow

It's a better idea than the hypocrite politician who public is opposed to gay marriage, than getting caught on the "down low".

Jawahar Mohanty
Jawahar Mohanty

All the more reason to regulate this type of profession.  I agree with you on the Human Trafficking issue.  Major problem especially with underage prostitution. Now if we were to regulate the oldest profession in the world so it would be between 2 consenting adults then where is the problem?   We have so many so called taboo's that have been around for as long as we have walked the earth as humans.  Lets take the pimp out of prostitution and regulate it and gain tax dollars towards our sinking economy while we police this type of business where 2 consenting adults come to an agreement....

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