Masseuses in Tustin who are hoping to set up shot or expand their businesses will have to sit tight for the next month and half. The City Council approved a 45-day moratorium on the establishment or expansion of massage parlors Tuesday, citing the spread of prostitution and sex trafficking.
Over the next 45 days, new massage parlors in Tustin will be unable to obtain permits or business licenses. The temporary halt will give the city time to develop new rules to ensure there’s no illicit activity going on.
“We certainly don’t want to take away from legitimate businesses,” said Mayor Al Murray. “We want to ensure that the businesses that are here, are here for the right reasons.”
Last month, Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation giving cities greater authority to regulate massage therapy businesses. Local officials had long complained of an inadvertent loophole, created by a 2008 law, which allowed illicit sexual activity to flourish.
A special committee composed of city officials is scheduled to hold a meeting before the end of the month. Any proposed changes will have to be approved by the City Council.
Read more about the moratorium here.