Chapter 4.15


4.15.010    Purpose.

4.15.020    Definitions.

4.15.030    CAMTC certification required.

4.15.040    Massage license required.

4.15.050    Business license required.

4.15.060    Operating requirements.

4.15.070    Health and safety requirements for all massages.

4.15.080    Outcall massage and on-site massage restrictions.

4.15.090    Inspections by officials.

4.15.100    Notifications.

4.15.110    Exemptions.

4.15.120    Suspension and revocation of massage license.

4.15.130    Administrative citation and penalty.

4.15.140    Severability.

4.15.150    Application to existing business.

4.15.010 Purpose.

1) It is the purpose and intent of this chapter to provide for the orderly regulation of massage businesses and to comply with state regulations as they relate to massage services.

2) This chapter establishes minimum standards for massage businesses and massage therapists so as to protect and safeguard the public health, safety and welfare and to enhance the reputation of the profession and integrity of the services provided.

3) It is the purpose and intent of the city council that massage businesses and massage therapists offering such services be regulated so as to ensure that persons offering massage services possess the minimum qualifications necessary to operate such a business and are able perform the services offered to ensure that those offering these services conduct their work in a lawful and professional manner and comply with required building, sanitation and health standards. (Ord. 376 § 1; Ord. 715 § 1; Ord. 975 § 1; Ord. 1026 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 1104 § 1 (Exh. A). Code 1997 § 15A-1)

4.15.020 Definitions.

For the purpose of this chapter, the definitions in this section shall govern the construction, meaning, and application of words and phrases used in this chapter:

1) “California Massage Therapy Council” or “CAMTC” shall mean the nonprofit organization created to regulate the massage industry set forth in Chapter 10.5 of Division 2 of the Business and Professions Code of the State of California (commencing with Section 4600).

2) “CAMTC certificate” shall mean a current and valid certificate issued by the California Massage Therapy Council to a massage therapist pursuant to Business and Professions Code Section 4601(b) or (c) or any later enacted amendment.

3) “Certified massage therapist” or “massage therapist” shall mean any individual, certified by the CAMTC and possessing a valid CAMTC certificate and is licensed to practice or administer massage, in exchange for any form of compensation within the city of South Lake Tahoe. All persons certified by CAMTC shall have the right to perform or engage in the practice of massage consistent with the Massage Therapy Act, the qualifications established by his or her certification, and the provisions of this chapter stated herein.

4) “Massage license” means a license issued by the city upon submission of satisfactory evidence that a massage business employs or uses only certified massage therapists.

5) “Massage” or “massage services” shall mean any method of treating the external parts of the body for remedial, health, or hygienic purposes for any form of compensation by means of pressure on or friction against, or stroking, kneading, rubbing, tapping, pounding, or stimulating, the external parts of the body, with or without the aid of mechanical or electrical apparatus or appliances, or with or without supplementary aids, such as rubbing alcohol, liniments, antiseptics, oils, powders, creams, lotions, ointments, or other similar preparations commonly used in this practice; or by baths, including, but not limited to, Turkish, Russian, Swedish, Japanese, vapor, shower, electric tub, sponge, mineral, fomentation, or any other type of bath, including but not limited to:

a. Biomechanical manipulation;

b. Hydrotherapy;

c. Electromechanical or vibratory devices;

d. Application of pressure, using specific thumb and finger techniques working on precise reflex points on feet, hands, and ears.

6) “Massage business” means any business that offers massage in exchange for compensation, whether at a fixed place of business or at a location designated by the client through outcall massage services. Any business that offers any combination of massage and bath facilities, including, but not limited to, showers, baths, wet and dry heat rooms, pools and hot tubs, shall be deemed a massage business under this chapter. The term “massage business” includes a certified massage therapist who is the sole owner, operator and employee of a massage business operating as a sole proprietorship. For the purposes of this chapter, the term “massage business” shall include those businesses that provide separate massage services, such as spas and day spas, but shall not apply to massages performed to limited areas of the neck, face and/or scalp, hands or feet of the clients when that massage is accessory to and within the scope of a barber’s, cosmetologist’s, and esthetician’s state license.

7) “Operator” means a person, whether an owner or nonowner, who manages or operates a massage business.

8) “Outcall massage” means the engaging in or carrying on of massage for compensation at a location other than the business operations address set forth in the massage business’s massage license.

9) “On-site massage” shall mean a massage given to an individual who remains fully clothed during the massage and at a location other than a massage business, and is limited to massages that take place at malls, business offices, sports complexes, convention centers and public events.

10) “Owner” means any of the following persons:

A) Any person who is a general partner of a general or limited partnership that owns a massage business.

B) Any person who has a five percent or greater ownership interest in a corporation that owns a massage business.

C) Any person who is a member of a limited liability company that owns a massage business.

D) Any person who has a five percent or greater ownership interest in any other type of business association that owns a massage business.

E) The sole proprietor of a massage business or establishment.

11) “Spa” or “day spa” shall mean a business that offers a variety of services intended to meet personal needs of individuals such as skin treatment, manicures and pedicures and massage. (Ord. 376 § 1; Ord. 491 § 1; Ord. 715 § 1; Ord. 793 § 1; Ord. 975 § 1; Ord. 1026 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 1104 § 1 (Exh. A). Code 1997 § 15A-2)

4.15.030 CAMTC certification required.

1) Individuals. It is unlawful for any individual to practice massage for compensation within the city unless that person possesses a current, valid, unsuspended and unrevoked CAMTC certificate.

2) Business. It shall be unlawful for any massage business to provide massage for compensation within the city unless all persons employed by the massage business or massage establishment to perform massage, whether as an employee, independent contractor, volunteer, or sole proprietorship, possess a current, valid, unsuspended and unrevoked CAMTC certificate. (Ord. 376 § 1; Ord. 715 § 1; Ord. 975 § 1; Ord. 1026 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 1104 § 1 (Exh. A). Code 1997 § 15A-3)

4.15.040 Massage license required.

1) Application. The application for a massage license shall be submitted to the chief of police and shall be deemed complete only upon provision of all application information requested by the chief of police and set forth in a separate application form.

2) Issuance. Upon provision by the massage business of a complete application for a massage license, and approval by the chief of police or designee, the city shall issue the massage business a massage license, which shall be valid for two years from the date of issuance. If the application is complete and accurate and all of a massage business’s owners, operators, and employees are certified massage therapists, approval shall be ministerial. If the application is deemed incomplete, inaccurate, and the massage business cannot establish that its owners, operators and employees are certified massage therapists, the chief of police or designee may deny the application for a massage license. The applicant may appeal the denial in accordance with Chapter 2.35 SLTCC.

3) Amendment. A massage business shall apply to the city to amend its massage license within 30 days after any change in the registration information, including, but not limited to, the hiring or termination of certified massage therapists, or change of address.

4) Renewal. A massage business shall apply to the city to renew its massage license at least 30 days prior to expiration. If an application for renewal of a massage license and all required information are not timely received and the license expires, no right or privilege to provide massage shall exist.

5) Fees. Fees for the application for a massage license shall be set forth by separate resolution of the city council.

6) Transfer. A massage license shall not be transferred to another applicant, person, location, or business except with the prior written approval of the chief of police. A written request for transfer shall contain the same information for the new ownership as is required for applications for a massage license pursuant to this section.

7) Sign Ordinance. No massage license shall be issued or renewed unless any and all signs on the massage business property comply with the city’s sign ordinance. (Ord. 376 § 1; Ord. 715 § 1; Ord. 975 § 1; Ord. 1026 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 1104 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 1105 § 1 (Exh. B). Code 1997 § 15A-22)

4.15.050 Business license required.

All massage businesses shall possess a valid city business license. (Ord. 1104 § 1 (Exh. A))

4.15.060 Operating requirements.

As of the effective date of this chapter, no person shall engage in, conduct, carry on, or permit any massage within the city unless all of the requirements set forth below are met:

(1) No owner, operator or manager of a massage establishment shall allow or permit a person to administer massage for such establishment unless the therapist possesses and wears a valid CAMTC certificate. The certificate shall be available for inspection at the time and place of a massage.

(2) A copy of the CAMTC certificate of each certified massage therapist employed by the massage business shall be displayed in the reception area or similar open public space on the premises.

All records of employees, independent contractors, and volunteers who have performed massage for a massage business shall be retained for a period of two years.

(3) A list of the services and the cost of such services shall be posted and visible to the client at the massage business, and shall be described in readily understandable language. Outcall massage providers shall provide a service list to clients in advance of performing any service. No owner, operator, or responsible managing employee shall permit, and no certified massage therapist shall offer to perform, any services other than those posted or listed as required herein, nor shall an owner, operator, or certified massage therapist request or charge a fee for service other than that on the list of services.

(4) For each massage service provided, every massage business shall keep a complete and legible written record of the following information: the date and hour that the service was provided; the service received; the name or initials of the employee entering the information; and the name of the certified massage therapist administering the service. Such records shall be open to inspection and copying by city officials and staff charged with enforcement of this chapter. Such records shall be retained on the premises of the massage business for a period of at least two years.

(5) Massage shall only be performed between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. No massage business shall be open and no massage shall be provided between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. A massage commenced prior to 10:00 p.m. shall terminate prior to 10:00 p.m. and all clients shall exit the massage establishment prior to 10:00 p.m.

(6) All massage business operators and their employees, including certified massage therapists, shall wear clean, nontransparent outer garments. Garments shall not expose their genitals, pubic areas, buttocks, or chest.

(7) No person or therapist shall enter, be or remain in any part of a massage business while in possession of an open container of alcohol, or consuming or using any alcoholic beverages, or controlled drugs without a valid prescription. The owner, operator, or responsible managing employee, shall not permit any such person, or any person who is clearly intoxicated, to enter or remain upon the premises.

a) Massage businesses who have obtained authorization from the chief of police and any licenses from the State of California Department of Alcohol Beverage Control that may be necessary to provide alcohol to a client as a part of the establishment’s services are exempt from this subsection (7).

b) No massage shall be given by any massage therapist who is consuming or under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or illegal controlled substance.

(8) No massage business shall place, publish or distribute, or cause to be placed, published or distributed, any advertising material that depicts any portion of the human body that would reasonably suggest to prospective clients that any service is available other than those services listed as an available service, nor shall any massage business employ language in the text of advertising that would reasonably suggest to a prospective client that any service is available other than those services as described in compliance with the provisions of this chapter.

(9) No massage shall be given unless the client’s genitals are, at all times, fully covered. Genitalia shall include the genitals, anus, and perineum of any person. A therapist shall not, in the course of administering any massage, make physical contact with the genitals of any other person, nor shall a therapist expose to a client or allow physical contact with his or her genitals. No massage shall be provided to a client for sexual gratification by intentional contact, or occasional and repetitive contact with the client’s genitalia or female breasts either covered or uncovered.

(10) A certified massage therapist shall operate only under the name specified in his or her CAMTC certificate.

(11) A massage business shall operate only under the name specified in its massage license.

(12) Clients of a massage business shall be limited to adults 18 years of age and older and minors when accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

(13) No person or business shall provide massage for compensation if such person or business is conducting such massage for training purposes.

(14) No massage establishment will keep, store or maintain condoms or other materials which might be construed to further illicit sex acts. (Ord. 1104 § 1 (Exh. A))

4.15.070 Health and safety requirements for all massages.

1) All equipment used in the massage establishment shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition. Instruments utilized in performing massage techniques shall not be used on more than one client unless they have been sterilized, using standard sterilization methods.

2) No massage establishment shall allow any person to reside within the massage establishment or in any attached structures owned, leased or controlled by the massage establishment owners. (Ord. 1104 § 1 (Exh. A))

4.15.080 Outcall massage and on-site massage restrictions.

Outcall massage and on-site massage shall only be conducted between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. (Ord. 1104 § 1 (Exh. A))

4.15.090 Inspections by officials.

The investigating and enforcing officials of the city, including but not limited to law and code enforcement officers, shall have the right to enter the premises of a massage business during regular business hours for the purpose of making reasonable inspections to observe and enforce compliance with building, fire, electrical, plumbing or health regulations, and to enforce compliance with applicable regulations, laws, and statutes, and with the provisions of this chapter. No person or massage business shall obstruct investigations under this section. This section shall not apply to on-site or outcall massage services. (Ord. 1104 § 1 (Exh. A))

4.15.100 Notifications.

1) A massage business shall immediately notify the chief of police of any changes in registration status.

2) A registrant shall immediately report to the police department any of the following:

(a) Arrests of any employees, owners, or operators of the registrant’s massage business;

(b) The occurrence of any event involving the registrant’s massage business or the certified massage therapists employed therein that constitutes a violation of this chapter or state or federal law. (Ord. 1104 § 1 (Exh. A))

4.15.110 Exemptions.

The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to the following classes of individuals or businesses while engaged in the performance of their duties:

1) Physicians, surgeons, chiropractors, acupuncturists, osteopaths, nurses or any physical therapists who are duly licensed to practice their respective professions in the state of California and persons working directly under the supervision of or at the direction of such licensed persons, working at the same location as the licensed person, and administering massage services subject to review or oversight by the licensed person.

2) Barbers, beauticians, estheticians, or any other persons who are duly licensed under the laws of the state of California while engaging in practice within the scope of their licenses, except that this provision shall apply solely to the massaging of the neck, face and/or scalp, hands or feet of the clients.

3) Hospitals, nursing homes, mental health facilities, or any other health facilities duly licensed by the state of California, and employees of these licensed institutions, while acting within the scope of their employment.

4) Accredited high schools, junior colleges, or colleges or universities whose coaches and trainers are acting within the scope of their employment.

5) Trainers of amateur, semi-professional, or professional athletes or athletic teams while engaging in their training responsibilities for and with the athletes; and trainers working in conjunction with a specific athletic event.

6) Individuals administering massages or health treatment involving massages to persons participating in single-occurrence athletic, recreational or festival events, such as health fairs, road races, track meets, triathlons and other similar events provided that all of the following conditions are satisfied:

A) The massage services are made equally available to all participants in the event;

B) The event is open to participation by the general public or a significant segment of the public such as employees of sponsoring or participating organizations;

C) The massage services are provided at the site of the event and either during, immediately preceding or immediately following the event. (Ord. 1104 § 1 (Exh. A))

4.15.120 Suspension and revocation of massage license.

1) Reasons. The massage license may be suspended or revoked upon any of the following grounds:

a) A therapist is no longer in possession of a current and valid CAMTC certification. This subsection shall apply to a sole proprietor or a person employed or used by a massage business to provide massage.

b) An owner or sole proprietor: is required to register under the provisions of the California Penal Code Section 290 (sex offender registration); is convicted of California Penal Code Section 266i (pandering), 318 (prevailing upon person to visit a place for prostitution), 647(b) (engaging in or soliciting prostitution), 653.22 (loitering with intent to commit prostitution), or 653.23 (supervision of prostitute); has a business permit or license denied, revoked, restricted, or suspended by any agency, board, city, county, territory, or state; is convicted of a felony offense involving the sale of a controlled substance; is convicted of any crime which constitutes a violation of this chapter.

c) The city determines that a material misrepresentation was included on the application for a massage license or renewal.

d) Violations of any portion of this chapter, or other local, state or federal law.

2) Procedures. Written notice of the suspension or revocation shall be served on the sole proprietor or owner(s) by certified mail with reasons for suspension or revocation. The notice shall contain an advisement of the right to request an appeal hearing before the administrative hearing officer.

3) Time Period of Suspension of Permit. The chief of police, code enforcement officer, finance director or city manager may suspend a registration for a period between five days and the remainder of the certification term, at his or her discretion.

4) Effective Date of Suspension or Revocation. Suspension or revocation will be effective 10 days from the date appearing on the notice, unless a timely appeal is filed in accordance with the appeal procedures set forth in the city code.

5) Reapplication. No reapplication will be accepted within one year after a massage license is revoked. (Ord. 1104 § 1 (Exh. A))

4.15.130 Administrative citation and penalty.

Any and all violations of this chapter are subject to administrative citation process set forth in Chapter 2.30 SLTCC. (Ord. 1104 § 1 (Exh. A))

4.15.140 Severability.

If any portion of this chapter is held to be invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity or effectiveness of the remaining portions of this chapter. The council hereby declares it would have passed each remaining portion irrespective of the fact that any one or more portions are declared invalid. (Ord. 1104 § 1 (Exh. A))

4.15.150 Application to existing business.

Upon the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter, all existing massage businesses shall have 60 days to comply with the operating requirements set forth in SLTCC 4.15.060(3) through (14). (Ord. 1104 § 1 (Exh. A))