The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to back state legislation that would give local jurisdictions more ability to regulate of massage parlors in hopes of cracking down on prostitution.
The legislation, Assembly Bill 1147, would allow local governments to pass laws that require a massage establishment to obtain a license or permit as part of an effort to prevent prostitution and human trafficking.
Councilman Bernard Parks, who authored the resolution that supports AB 1147, said a state law enacted in 2008 limited the city's ability to regulate massage businesses through its zoning codes, but the new legislation would close the loophole.
"If you take zoning laws away from a local jurisdiction, you tie their hands and they can't serve the public," Parks told Video News West during the council meeting.
He said many massage parlors are legal and have nothing to fear, but others can become fronts for prostitution.
"We've seen that kind of eyesore destroy communities," Parks said.
The council approved the resolution on an 11-0 vote, with council members Joe Buscaino, Mitch Englander, Jose Huizar and Nury Martinez absent.
—City News Service