Item 5 - Discussion - Massage Business Ordinance

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Public Meeting Video

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Staff Memo ( 0.13 MB )
Draft Massage Ordinance ( 0.28 MB )
Chapter 5.52 of the Lakewood Municipal Code ( 0.23 MB )
Chapter 5.52 comparison document ( 0.23 MB )
LPD Presentation ( 0.41 MB )
Business Outreach Letter ( 0.1 MB )
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Comments & Feedback

Comments
 
This case is closed, online commenting is no longer available.
Online comments closed at 10:30 AM MST 2/7/22.
I am a Licensed Massage Therapist in Lakewood. I can point to a number of specifics in the proposed ordinance that indicate a lack of knowledge of how massage practices work, or create confusion or ambiguity. However, my general comments are as follows: 1. Colorado Licensed Massage Therapists (LMTs) are also concerned about sex trafficking, because the complete misperception that "massage = sex work" also makes us less safe. This applies especially to sole practitioners, LMTs who do outcalls, etc. If LMTs must jump through further hoops, beyond our state licensing under the "health practitioners" umbrella, in order to continue proving our legitimacy, why are there no provisions of this ordinance that could actually make us safer? There are a few stipulations that may make us less safe, and most are neutral. There is nothing that offers us greater safety-- we have to spend more money and jump through more hoops to help Lakewood solve a problem that is not of our making, and that hurts us too. 2. Following up on the above: I believe that LMTs and the city are on the same side here. Neither of us wants people to be sex trafficked in the city, and neither wants massage to be associated with sex work. Given this situation, were there any massage therapists or former therapists consulted in writing this proposed ordinance? If not, why not, and can we fix that? What I am asking the city to do is to take some time before deciding on this ordinance, even a week or two, to consult with LMTs about it (we have a fantastic massage school here in Lakewood as well as many LMTs working here, and state resources as well-- I know there are people who would be happy to work on this). I am confident that it's possible to work together on an ordinance that would both inhibit sex trafficking and reduce the burden to LMTs. I think it would serve Lakewood well to have an ordinance that actually helps LMTs rather than creating difficulties for us.
February 6, 2022, 8:02 PM
Dara Hargrave
10 / 11 Council Members have viewed this comment
I completely agree with the previous comment by Cassandra Sellers. There are already enough laws in place to help curb the human-trafficking problem and misuse of the term Massage Therapist if they were only enforced. Adding another hurdle for legitimate massage therapists to jump through in order to remain compliant with the laws will only hurt the people that are already following the law by being licensed by the state's DORA, and do nothing to stop those that choose to break the law. I am also offended that massage therapy businesses are being targeted with this legislation, but barber shops and beauty salons are exempt? I used to rent a treatment room in a 3 room office with shared common space. I was absolutely appalled to find out that the "hairstylist" renting the room next to me was obviously using her "business" as a cover for prostitution as clearly heard through the walls. I was even more appalled that my attempts to report went no where and no action was taken, other than me being forced to stop renting in that facility. I became a massage therapist prior to state licensure of the profession. At that time, it was complicated to stay compliant with the laws of each city where my clients were located as I did home-visits. This limited my ability to take on new clients if they lived in a city where I had not yet obtained a license. It was a great decision and eased my burden when the state moved to State Licensure through the Massage Therapy Practice Act. Why is the City of Lakewood trying to complicate things for legitimate massage therapists by adding more regulation while not enforcing current laws?
February 6, 2022, 5:20 AM
Hailey Strampel
10 / 11 Council Members have viewed this comment
I strongly oppose this as the vast majority of Massage therapist are small business owners or sole practitioners. Imposing a new business license does not at all help stop sexual assault, human trafficking, or prostitution. Imposing a new business license on top of the required state license from DORA and having to maintain a form of LLC/sole proprietorship ext is only going to make it harder for legitimate therapist to run a practice. If you all really want to do something about the sexual abuse within the industry you should uphold the laws when it comes to therapist reporting clients for solicitation, indecent exposure and sexual assault.
February 4, 2022, 11:21 AM
Cassandra Sellers
10 / 11 Council Members have viewed this comment
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