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TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL
FROM: CITY MANAGER AND CITY ATTORNEY
DATE: APRIL 15, 2003
SUBJECT: REVISED AGREEMENT WITH THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES TO PERFORM INSPECTIONS AND ADMINISTER EXAMINATIONS ON BEHALF OF THE CITY FOR PROSPECTIVE MASSAGE BUSINESS LICENSE APPLICANTS
On February 19, 2002, the City Council adopted Ordinance No. 373, adopting by reference the Los Angeles County Code provisions governing massage establishments and massage technicians, as amended (the "Ordinance"). The Ordinance became effective March 21, 2002, and established a comprehensive regulatory scheme to license massage establishments and massage technicians within the City’s borders. Among other things, the Ordinance set minimum requirements for all massage facilities, including existing massage establishments, and required a license for all massage establishments and all massage technicians providing massage services within the City.
On November 19, 2002, the City Council adopted Ordinance No. 384, amending the Municipal Code to eliminate potential ambiguity discovered in the language of Ordinance No. 373, to establish a hardship waiver under specific circumstances for existing massage businesses that provide massage services as a secondary service and lacks the physical space or financial resources to meet the new facility regulations, and to authorize County personnel who are rendering services for the City to administer practical and/or written examinations to applicants for massage technician licenses for the purpose of determining the applicants’ qualifications.
On November 5, 2002 the City Council approved entering into an Agreement with the County of Los Angeles that authorized the County Department of Health Services to inspect massage establishments and administer examinations to prospective massage technicians on behalf of the City. Since then, the County Counsel and City Attorney proposed some minor revisions to the Agreement. The Agreement revisions of significance include the new fee schedule, the establishment of a 60-day period for two re-inspections of massage facilities, and the new July 1 effective date for fee increases (the previous effective date was January 1).
The County Board of Supervisors approved the Agreement for execution by the County Department of Health Services at its April 8th Board meeting.
City Council is requested to consider approving the revised County Health Services Agreement and authorizing the Mayor to execute the Agreement. Should Council approve, staff will prepare the appropriate notices for a public hearing on May 6th to formally adopt the new fee schedule.
In the past the City’s Finance Department and Planning, Building and Code Enforcement Department provided some assistance in reviewing and processing massage therapy business license applications. This will continue, however City staff will be responsible for additional paperwork and administrative handling of license applications due to the more formal review process adopted under the County’s regulations. The City Manager’s Office will be working with the County Treasurer Tax Collector’s Department to process the business license applications through the City and County departments. Currently, there are approximately a dozen massage related RPV business licenses issued in the City. The City does not foresee this number to significantly increase in the future, so the added workload is expected to be minimal.
The County licensing fee will cover all County services except for the County Health Services Department. With Council’s approval of the County Health Services agreement, staff will prepare notices for a public hearing to adopt the new fee schedule, which is intended to recover County Health Service costs associated with massage establishment inspections and technician examinations, as well as the City’s administrative expenses.
Attachment: Health Services Agreement