COSTA MESA : Two Massage Parlors Are Denied Permits

The City Council has rejected permit applications for two massage parlors because they are too close to neighborhoods and areas used by children.

Attorney Robert J. Davis represented the owners of Oriental Therapy East at 1525 Mesa Verde Drive and Mesa Acupressure at 2845 Mesa Verde Drive, which have been operating for two years without the proper permits.

He said his clients were unaware they needed special permits when they opened. Because massage businesses are considered adult entertainment, a conditional-use permit is required.

Davis had tried to get the permits on Dec. 13 at the Planning Commission meeting but was denied. The Police Department recommended against giving a permit to either business.


“There was not one police problem,” protested Davis to the council at a hearing last week. “Not one police complaint.”

Residents Arthur Goddard and Charles Robertson, president of the Mesa Verde Homeowners Assn., voiced their opposition to the massage parlors at the meeting. “Ignorance of these regulations is no excuse,” Robertson said. He called the businesses “inappropriate in their present location.”

City ordinances require adult-entertainment businesses to be at least 500 feet from houses and more than 1,000 feet from schools, parks, public buildings or places likely to be used by minors. Both businesses have until March 13 to close their doors.

Councilman Joe Erickson said he tried to visit Oriental Therapy East to see what services the business offers but was not allowed inside.


The council also unanimously passed a temporary ordinance to make it harder to open an adult-entertainment business in the city. The ordinance is intended to be in effect until the council passes a permanent ordinance this summer.