Summary of Changes in the Proposed Massage Ordinance
[Note: The Legislative Analyst’s report by the City Attorney’s office can be read here.]
- Move the permitting process from the Police Department to the Department of Public health. By far, the most significant change being proposed is moving the whole permitting process of massage practitioners and businesses from the authority of the Police Department and putting it under the jurisdiction of the Department of Public Health. All of the stakeholder are happy with this change.
- Create two categories of practitioner permits, instead of only one. The current category, “masseusse/masseur,” is now called “general massage practitioner” and the amount of training required move from 70 to 100 hours. The new category that has been created requires 200 hours of training was created called “advanced massage practitioner.”
- Add a new business category called “solo massage establishment.” We wanted to make it easier for therapeutic massage practitioners to operate a private practice without the onerous oversight and fees required for massage establishments. One must hold and “advanced massage practitioner” permit in order to work in a solo massage extablishment. Up to four practitioners can share one office space (more upon special approval from DPH) making it easier for private practitioners to afford the rent on a commercial space.
- New fee structure. The following chart details the old and new fees. All of the fees will be adjusted beginning fiscal year 2004-2005 based on the actual costs for providing each of the services as certified by the Controller and approved by the Board of Supervisors.
General Massage Practitioner
Advanced Massage Practitioner
Solo Massage Establishment/Outcall
Outcall Massage Business
Advanced Massage Practitioners holding a Solo Massage Establishment permit will not be required to pay additional fees for an Outcall permit.
Permits would not be required for practitioners who are already state licensed as a health care practitioner. A permit is also not required of state-licensed barbers, cosmetologist, estheticians, or manicurists, as long as they are only doing the amount of massage allowed in their scope of practice. Non-profit organizations with a legitimate federal tax exemption are exempt from paying the fees described above. However, they still have to apply for the license at the health Department..
Besides these major changes, there are numerous minor changes that are included. Please read the Legislative Analyst report for a complete summary.
Frequently asked questions
- Can I work out of my own home?
Unfortunately, this new ordinance does not modify the zoning regulations. SF law requires massage businesses to operate only in facilities zoned for commercial use. In addition, the zoning regs require that massage businesses must be at least 1,000 feet from each other anywhere in the city. If all goes well with the implementation of this new massage ordinance, we may take on the Zoning Regs next.