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La Mirada City Council addresses new massage business regulations

By Brian Hews
The La Mirada City Council took the first formal steps on Tuesday night to enact new standards on state required regulations when it comes to possible future massage establishments.
City Planner Gabriel Bautista told the city council that due to a 2009 law, cities such as La Mirada now have less “local control and authority” over massage businesses. He said the law, known as Senate Bill 731, transferred the authority to regulate massage parlors to a new state agency known as the California Massage Therapy Council.
“As a result of the new law, cities may no longer require their own independent testing and background investigation for massage practitioners,” Bautista stated in his report to Mayor Gabe Garcia and the other city council members.
Bautista said that the La Mirada Municipal Code currently permits massage establishments to locate within the a district known as a “Neighborhood Commercial Zoning District, but are forbidden in other commercial and industrial areas along the 5 Freeway or Imperial Highway.
Karen Bufkin, who is in the City of La Mirada’s Business License Department said that the city currently has just one business establishment that is offers massages, that being the La Mirada Health Club. Bautista and Bufkin said that another “possible applicant” has approached city officials in the recent past inquiring about opening a full service massage-style business, but that no business plans have been “officially” submitted.
The adopted ordinance, that still has to come before the city council for final approval next month. Each person employed to perform massages must be a “certified massage therapist” and must be in possession of a valid California State Massage Certificate. Massages will only be allowed between the hours of 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.
In other items, the La Mirada City Council voted to introduce new requirements for child and family day care uses in residential areas.
The new regulations would create a set of “prescribed performance requirements” for large day care facility applicants, and would be intended to “minimize” potential impacts to surrounding areas and to maintain a distance of 500 linear feet between existing large family day care facilities.
The City Council also introduced the first reading of a new ordinance that deals with block wall fences in La Mirada.
Rueben Arceo, Community Development Director told the council that the condition of “privately owned block walls and fences area a source of concern” for the community.
In his staff report, Arceo said that “many of the privately owned block walls in La Mirada were built in the 1950’s and 60’s and are nearing their life expectancy.”
Approximately 82,000 linear feet of concert masonry run throughout La Mirada along major and minor streets and avenues and an overwhelming majority are located on private property and are owned and maintained by individual property owners.
City staff reminded the council that as a “function of repair and maintenance, best construction practices have not always been applied by property owners” over the past four and five decades. Recently, many block walls have begun to crumble and the “structural integrity problems” have impacted property values.
Mayor Garcia said “we all want to see the walls cleaned up and replaced, we just need to come up with the best way to make it happen throughout La Mirada.”
The issue will return to the city council next month for additional discussion.
The La Mirada City Council also proclaimed April as “Public Schools Month” and presented Daryl Adams, President of Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District Board of Education with a resolution. Also attending the presentation was NLMUSD Board Members Jesse Urquidi, Chris Planzer and Vice President Ed Hengler.
The week of April 8 to April 14 will now be “National Library Week” in La Mirada. Community Library Manger Jennifer McCarty accepted a proclamation in honor of the recognition and she quickly reminded the city council and the audience to “make sure everyone has a valid library card.” “We have one of the very best public libraries in our area, and we extend a huge thanks to the city council,” McCarty said.
Also recognized were Joyce and Randy Herbon for their continued support and coordination of the upcoming “Relay for Life” on behalf of the American Cancer Society. They pointed out the upcoming event is planned for April 28 and 29 and will be held at SPLASH! and will be the only “Relay for Life” to be held at a facility that features water.
Longtime resident and community volunteer Janice Lablin was formally recognized for 40 years of “dedicated” community volunteer service with a special “Certificate of Recognition.” Lablin said that it is the “responsibility of every good resident to give back to La Mirada.”
A Blue Star Banner was presented by the city council to Jerillynn Cisneros, Trudy Carrillo, and George Carrillo in honor of United States Army Private Joseph Richards for his current service to the United States of America. Look for a banner with Pvt. Richards name to be flown along Rosecrans Avenue in the near future.
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