Costa Mesa could ban more massage parlors


The Costa Mesa City Council is scheduled to vote today on a moratorium banning new massage businesses from setting up shop and any existing studios from expanding.

If approved, the move would extend the existing moratorium the City Council approved last year for another 12 months while it examines issues with illegal operations, including acts of prostitution, at some locations inside city limits.

The city is looking to assess some issues it is facing with its current massage parlors and study pending state legislation that might affect its capacity to regulate new ones, said Tom Hatch, Costa Mesa assistant city manager.


Assembly Bill 731, which was signed into law in September, created a lot of concern for statewide law enforcement officials, according to a city staff report.

Now, the California Police Chiefs Assn. is sponsoring a new Assembly bill that, if passed, could change how the city regulates such establishments.

The moratorium will give the city time to establish the best way to move forward, Hatch said.

In other action, the City Council is scheduled to be briefed on a decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld Redondo Beach’s right to enforce its anti-solicitation ordinance.

Costa Mesa temporarily suspended its anti-solicitation ordinance while the Redondo Beach case played out in court. The American Civil Liberties Union and a group of other civil-rights organizations, on behalf of day laborers, had sued Costa Mesa in hopes of blocking it.

Redondo Beach’s victory could indicate success for Costa Mesa’s ordinance, which prohibits those looking for work from making aggressive efforts to flag down potential employers.