The Town of Babylon is cracking down on massage businesses and looking to keep violators closed.
The town next week is having a public hearing on new additions to the town’s code that would spell out exactly how a massage business can operate.
Town spokesman Brendan Cunningham said the town has slapped massage parlors with code violations only to have them remain open or close and reopen elsewhere. These proposed changes would give the town a stronger hand in enforcing the code, he said.
There are 13 massage businesses currently in operation in the town, he said.
The 10 new requirements under the proposed “Licensing; location; standards and conditions” section include cleanliness and proper covering of both massage therapist and client. The proposed law states that “all employees . . . shall be clean and fully covered in clean clothing” and that private parts of “patrons must be covered by sheets, cloths or undergarments when in the presence of an employee.”
The conduct of the massage therapist is also a focus of the code, with the explicit requirement that massage may be practiced only “for the purposes of physical fitness, relaxation or medical therapy.”
A massage parlor’s license may be revoked for violating any of the 10 provisions outlined under the new section, or of the entire chapter of the code, as well as for eight additional reasons spelled out under the “Revocation of permit” section.
These include making a false statement on the application, any suspension or revocation of a state professional license or if anyone involved directly or indirectly with the management and operation of the massage parlor is convicted of a felony.
Babylon Town Attorney Joseph Wilson said that, thus far, the town largely has only been able to issue summonses to massage businesses that are “untoward or doing illegal activities.”
“This gives us an additional tool to deal with those types of establishments and revoke their licenses,” he said.
A public hearing on the proposed legislation will be held on Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. before the town board meeting.