BY MATT MACKINDER
Clarkston News Staff Writer
Massage establishments in Independence Township face stricter regulations now that Independence Township Board voted unanimously to approve the second reading of a new ordinance, Jan. 7.
Trustees Jose Aliaga and Ron Ritchie were absent. First reading was Dec. 17.
“I know we had a meeting with the sheriff’s department (Jan. 7) and they are ecstatic that we’re moving forward on this,” said township Supervisor Pat Kittle.
Revamping the ordinance ensures proper enforcement, establishments for individuals using massage therapy are licensed by the state, and oversight by the township, said township Attorney Peter Keenan at the Jan. 7 meeting.
“The ordinance provides for all sorts of requirements and that will allow inspections, will allow assurance that there’s no illegal activity which unfortunately occurred within the township and basically ensure that the township is aware of businesses being run in a proper, legitimate fashion,” Keenan said.
It’s an annual, renewable license, and the ordinance provides for times for operation, fees, oversight, and inspections. If there is a massage establishment or clinic doing anything illegal, it can be shut down and cannot reopen because the township can pull their license, he said.
“There is procedure outlined or stated in the ordinance,” Keenan said. “Through the building department, through the clerk’s office, through law enforcement to the sheriff’s department, if they believe there’s any illegal activity and it is brought to the board’s attention, the supervisor, or who you would delegate, can suspend the license of the entity and indicate that they can request a hearing.”
If the business does not request or appear at a hearing, then the license is revoked, he said.
“The bottom line is that they have to comply with state law,” he said.