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City cracks down on massage businesses
Stringent new regulations in the works

Owning and operating a massage business in Conyers will soon be a much tougher endeavor under new regulations city officials are planning to implement.

The city is revising the ordinance governing massage establishments and massage therapists, and new requirements aimed to clean up the local massage business may wipe out two local businesses.

The new application for a business license to operate a massage establishment in the city will now be very detailed. Applicants will be required to be a US citizen, over 18-years-old, consent to a background check and fingerprinting, provide two photo ID's, list their complete license history and be state certified, among many other stringent stipulations. 

The ordinance also establishes minimum standards including operating hours must be between 7 a.m.-10 p.m., no mattresses, sheets have to be clean, doors can’t be locked, no inappropriate touching, no selling alcohol, and the owner or manager must be on the property at all times.

"This will give the city the power to keep people from operating inappropriately," Conyers Chief Operating Officer David Spann said during a public safety committee meeting Wednesday. The changes target people giving massage therapy but will not affect salons, Spann explained. 

On Wednesday Conyers Police Chief Gene Wilson said there are two existing massage businesses that will not be in compliance with the new regulations, though he declined to release the names of the two. There are currently six massage establishments operating within city limits.

City attorney Carrie Bootcheck used existing ordinances in Sandy Springs, DeKalb County, Gwinnett County, Duluth and Rockdale County as guidelines for the updated ordinance. Existing massage establishments will have 90 days to comply with the new ordinance once the city council officially adopts the changes.

 City council members will consider the new regulations for adoption during the Wednesday, June 20 council meeting.