Stanton Poised to Extend Moratorium on Massage Parlors


Stanton City Hall.

Stanton City Council members are expected to vote Dec. 10 on extending a temporary ban on establishing new massage parlors for a year.

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The moratorium was deemed necessary early this year because of illegal activity occurring in parlors, including human trafficking, prostitution, having unlicensed technicians and personnel, and unsanitary conditions, according to a city staff report. 

The ban was first put into place on Jan. 8 for 45 days through an interim urgency ordinance which was extended by 10 months and 15 days on Feb. 12. As the moratorium expiration deadline of Dec. 27 draws near, city staff is recommending an extension. The additional year is needed because the criminal activity and other issues surrounding massage parlors have not been resolved and planned new municipal codes for the establishments’ operations have not yet been finalized. 

Currently, massage establishments operate under the city’s municipal code, which states that owners must obtain a conditional use permit to have a location in the city’s commercial zone. Additionally, operators must obtain a massage establishment permit in order to operate a parlor. 

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department found numerous violations, including human trafficking and prostitution, which prompted the initial moratorium on new establishments. Since then, unlicensed massage parlors have been monitored and shut down in response to illegal activity, the staff report said.

A four-fifths vote of the City Council is needed for the approval of the extension of the urgency interim ordinance. 

The panel is set to meet at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 7800 Katella Ave.