Police raid prompted Miamisburg to consider 6-month massage business ban

Miamisburg City Council is considering a six-month moratorium on new massage businesses. FILE PHOTO

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Miamisburg City Council is considering a six-month moratorium on new massage businesses. FILE PHOTO

A proposed moratorium on new massage businesses in Miamisburg stems largely from a police raid involving “illegal activities” at a site near the Dayton Mall, according to a city planner.

The six-month ban on the “processing and issuance of zoning authorizations and certificates” is also due to “a noticeable increase in interest” of massage businesses in the city, said Miamisburg City Planner Ryan Homsi.

Miamisburg City’s Council tonight is scheduled to consider legislation to impose a temporary hold on new requests for those establishments.

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A winter raid at an establishment operating illegally in the vicinity of Prestige Place near the Dayton Mall is a key factor for the proposal, Homsi said.

“That was the main triggering factor” for the proposal, he said.

Details on that incident were not available; attempts to reach Miamisburg police on the issue Monday were unsuccessful.

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“Some cities have certain standards – special requirements – for massage businesses. We don’t have any,” Homsi said.

Imposing a moratorium “just gives us time to research if we want any of new standards and – if we do – what kind. It will give us time to research those and if need to implement some we can,” he said.

According to the Ohio Revised Code, “no person shall use the words or letters ‘massage therapist,’ ‘licensed massage therapist,’ ‘L.M.T.” or any other letters, words, abbreviations, or insignia, indicating or implying that the person is a licensed massage therapist without a valid license.”

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About a handful of massage businesses operate in the city. If council approves the moratorium, it would not affect existing businesses, Homsi said.

Approval of the temporary ban would also be at least the second local move involving massage businesses in consecutive weeks. On March 27, West Carrollton City Council approved stronger guidelines for businesses offering massage services.

West Carrollton police asked that city’s council to make it a crime for employees of such businesses to give massages without being licensed by the state of Ohio.

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Homsi said other cities – such as Mason, Springboro and the Columbus suburb of Westerville – have taken similar measures as Miamisburg is considering. Those jurisdictions will likely be studied by Miamisburg should it enact the moratorium.

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