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Bell Gardens Massage Parlors to Be Inspected By County

Massage parlors in the city of Bell Gardens will be inspected by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health as part of an agreement approved Monday by the city council.

The agreement is an effort by the city to ensure the businesses are complying with health and safety codes regulating these types of establishments, officials said at Monday’s council meeting.

Bell Garden’s Municipal Code was been amended in 2010 to include reference to a state law that allows the city to license massage technicians and inspect establishments to ensure compliance with health and safety codes, as well as the city’s municipal code.

Lea esta nota EN ESPAÑOL: Salas de Masajes en Bell Gardens Serán Inspeccionadas por el Condado [1]

The five-year agreement allows the county health department to inspect massage parlors operating in Bell Gardens on behalf of the city.

The agreement was initially included on the city council’s consent calendar, which calls for a yes or no vote on several items as a matter of procedure and without discussion, but Councilman Daniel Crespo, citing concerns about the types of activities taking place at the massage parlors, asked that the item be discussed by the council.

He said he wants the partnership with the county will address “incidents that go on at these places, so they can be “stopped and investigated.”

City Manager Philip Wagner explained that the agreement would not take away jurisdiction from the city’s police department, but would allow for a more experienced group to deal with the regulation of the massage parlors.

“It’s very difficult to police when you are dealing with specific county ordinances and county codes,” Wagner told the council. “This will provide us with a better opportunity to police these establishments.”

The county inspections will cost the city $182 per annual inspection for existing businesses and $364 for an inspection related to an application for a new business license.  City officials said the cost would be passed on to the businesses as part of their business license fees, leaving the city with no fiscal impact.

Existing massage parlors will be inspected once a year as part of their annual renewal for their busines license and new massage establishments within the city will be required to be inspected before a business license is issued.

The county or the city may terminate the agreement at any time with a 30-day advance notice.