New York City is getting a boost to its massage parlor scene after the Bronx City Council voted unanimously to create an official massage licensing program for the borough.
The move comes after an audit by the city’s Office of Health and Human Services found that more than 4,000 massage parls in the Bronx are not licensed by the health department, according to the New York Post.
“There are hundreds of massage parlers operating in New York, and most of them are unlicensed,” councilman Jumaane Williams told the Post.
A few are also in violation of zoning ordinances.
“They’re making the business illegal,” he said.
The city’s massage licensing agency is in the process of drafting the regulations and the city attorney’s office is also considering whether to file a lawsuit.
As the city gears up for the 2018 season, it’s important to keep an eye on the city council’s ordinance, according a report in the New Yorker.
“This is a big deal,” said Jessica Stacey, the city commissioner for human services.
“These are businesses that are not regulated.”
The council voted to create a massage licensing bureau to oversee the city, but the council did not include any restrictions on the type of businesses or licensees.
The council did, however, make clear that the city would be looking to regulate the massage industry.
“We want to ensure that all businesses are regulated appropriately,” council member Joe Borelli said in a statement.
“If we have any concerns about the safety of the profession or any other businesses, we want to make sure those concerns are properly addressed.”
The city is still in the early stages of drafting regulations.
The legislation is still being worked out.