The new ordinance, which is part of the city’s business and taxation code, also establishes a new city permitting process that will be overseen by the chief of police. New massage therapy businesses will be required to submit documentation to the city confirming they only employ licensed massage therapists to provide massage services to customers.
A violation of the ordinance is a third-degree misdemeanor with a fine of not more than $500. A separate offense shall be deemed committed on each day on which a violation occurs or continues.
Hospitals, medical facilities and public health centers will be exempt from these requirements, and so will licensed cosmetologists, registered barbers or nail salon technicians who administer massages only to the scalp, face, neck, shoulder, feet or hands, the legislation states.
Other exempt jobs include licensed chiropractors, podiatrists, nurses and sports trainers.
The ordinance also has an appeals process as well as a provision to inspect massage therapy businesses.
Franklin’s new ordinance is similar to legislation that took effect Jan. 1 in Dayton, also requiring that massage therapy businesses only use licensed massage therapists for these services. Dayton’s ordinance has similar exemptions, and violations in Dayton start as a fourth-degree misdemeanor and escalate from there.
Dayton establishments in violation of the new regulations may be deemed a public nuisance. They also would be subject to inspection from police officers, zoning officials, public health officials and other agencies.
Several other communities have enacted similar massage ordinances in the past few years, including Springboro, Beavercreek, Kettering, Fairborn and Miamisburg.