West Valley City holds off on updating massage ordinance
West Valley City • The City Council on Tuesday delayed a decision on proposed revisions to an ordinance that expanded the definition of massage, set a dress code at massage establishments and prohibited the businesses from operating between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
The proposed changes are designed to deter fake massage therapists who set up prostitution fronts, according to city lawyers. However, several council members were concerned that the requirements would unfairly burden legitimate massage therapists.
"This is focused on the wrong people," Councilman Steve Buhler said.
The council voted 5-2 to table the matter for now. No new date for consideration has been set.
The council has delayed a vote on the issue once before, on Feb. 21. The proposed revisions were sent back to city staffers for tweaking after licensed massage therapists said they used outdated terminology, including the word "masseur." They also objected to adding Reiki a type of spiritual healing where the practitioners transfer energy through their hands, which they hold a few inches from the recipient's body to the definition of massage.
The latest version drops the outdated terms and says "massage" includes a paid service that uses the term "massage," regardless of whether the service involves physical contact, but does not name any specific technique.