Massage Establishments

In 2008, the state legislature adopted Senate Bill 731, Section 4600 et seq. of the Business and Professionals Code (SB 731).  SB 731 created the California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC) to oversee the certification of massage therapists.  This legislation effectively limited the ability of local governments to regulate massage services.  Since the enactment of SB 731 reports from several California cities showed that the enactment of SB 731 has had an unintended consequence of causing the proliferation of illicit massage establishments that are fronts for prostitution and may also be involved in human trafficking.  Responding to the concerns of local governments, the state legislature adopted Assembly Bill 1147 (AB 1147 also known as "the Massage Therapy Act").  AD 1147 restores local regulatory authority over massage establishments by allowing local governments to impose reasonable conditions on the operation of massage establishments.  Under AB 1147 responsibility for massage regulation is divided between CAMTC and local governments.  In response to AD 1147, the City Council for the City of Laguna Hills adopted Ordinance 2016-5.  Ordinance 2016-5 amends and reinstates Chapter 4-28 (Massage Establishments) of Title 4 (Business Regulations) of the Laguna Hills Municipal Code.  The Ordinance amendments include eliminating existing municipal code provisions requiring local massage technician permits, which are preempted by state law; require all persons providing massage services in the City to be CAMTC certified; require all existing and new massage establishments to obtain a City massage establishment operator's permit; and impose operational standards for massage establishments concerning facilities, operations, and prohibited conduct. Existing Facilities will be required to obtain their Massage Establishment permit prior to April 21, 2017.  For more information regarding the new regulations contact the Planning Department at (949) 707-2672.