Recent Changes to Massage Establishment Regulations Effective June 27, 2015

Massage Establishment Legitimization Program available to help obtain necessary local zoning approval permits for legal operation

ANNOUNCEMENT

Massage Establishment Owners and Operators:

In response to Assembly Bill 1147 restoring local regulatory authority over massage therapy businesses, the City of San Francisco has amended its land use regulations for Massage Establishments. Ordinance No. 73-15 amends the San Francisco Planning Code’s Massage Establishment regulations by standardizing the Planning Code definition for massage uses and the local land use approval process.

While there may have been some misunderstanding on the part of massage business operators as a result of two permitting systems for massage licensing (State and local), all Massage Establishments, with certain minor exceptions, have always required local land use approval to operate legally in San Francisco.

In recognition of this possible misunderstanding, the Ordinance created a Massage Establishment Legitimization Program to assist in obtaining the required permits, which the Planning Department is facilitating. If your Massage Establishment is operating without the required permits and you qualify to participate, you must take part in this program to ensure that you are operating legally. If you do not qualify for the program, you will need to apply for a Conditional Use Authorization.

The Massage Establishment Legitimization Program provides Massage Establishments either operating in zoning districts allow massage uses but do not have the necessary permits or operating in zoning districts that prohibit massage uses an opportunity to secure necessary approvals while continuing to operate. To be eligible for the Program, Massage Establishments must meet the following requirements:

  1. The Massage Establishment proposed for Legitimization was in operation in the proposed location as of January 19, 2015;

  2. The Massage Establishment proposed for Legitimization obtained a business license from the City of San Francisco as of January 19, 2015;

  3. All employees working at the Massage Establishment proposed for Legitimization obtained a valid certification from the California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC) or a valid permit from the Department of Public Health (DPH) as of January 19, 2015;

  4. No open Police Department, Planning Department or DPH enforcement cases against the Massage Establishment proposed for Legitimization are open at the time of permit approval; and

  5. The Massage Establishment proposed for Legitimization has applied for a DPH permit under Health Code Section 29.25 within 90 days of the effective date of Ordinance No 73-15.

To legalize your Massage Establishment, please submit a building permit application (Building Form 3/8, also known as ‘the Pink Form’) to the Department of Building Inspection. These permits will then be routed to the Planning Department for review. The building permit application should indicate “legitimization of massage establishment” in the scope of work. Please include all necessary documents, including any required plans, rental or lease agreements, building or other permits, utility records, business licenses, CAMTC certification materials, permits from DPH, and/or tax records to demonstrate eligibility for the Massage Establishment Legitimization Program. Please note that all projects are still subject to other applicable Planning Code Sections, include neighborhood notification.

**Please note that the Massage Establishment Legitimization Program sunsets 18 months after the effective date of Ordinance No 73-15. This means that if your Massage Establishment is operating illegally but was eligible for the program and did not apply, your Establishment will be subject to the land use controls currently in effect at their location after December 27, 2016. These land use controls may require you to apply for a Conditional Use Authorization or prohibit Massage Establishments completely.

DISTRICTS THAT REQUIRE CONDITIONAL USE AUTHORIZATION FOR MASSAGE ESTABLISHMENTS

C-2
C-3-O
C-3-O (SD)
C-3-R
C-3-G
C-3-S

PDR-1-B
PDR-1-D
PDR-1-G
PDR-2

M-1
M-2

CCB
CVR
CR/NC

NC-2
NC-3
NC-S

NCT-2
NCT-3

Broadway NCD
Castro NCD
Inner Clement NCD
Upper Fillmore NCD
Haight NCD
Hayes-Gough NCT
Upper Market NCD
North Beach NCD
Polk NCD
Valencia NCT
24th St/Mission NCT
24th St/Noe NCD
Inner Sunset NCD
Upper Market NCT

SOMA NCT
Mission NCT
Ocean NCT
Glen Park NCT
Noriega NCD
Irving NCD
Taraval NCD
Judah NCD
Folsom NCT
Regional Commercial District
Excelsior Outer Mission NCD
Divisadero NCD
Fillmore NCD

 

RH-DTR
SB-DTR

WMUG
SALI

 

 

 

 

 

DISTRICTS THAT PROHIBIT MASSAGE ESTABLISHMENTS

RC-3
RC-4

         
RH-1 (D)
RH-1
RH-1 (S)
RH-2
RH-3
RM-1
RM-2
RM-3
RM-4

RTO
RTO-M

NC-1
Outer Clement NCD
Sacramento NCD
Union NCD
West Portal NCD
Pacific NCD

NCT-1

RSD
(except when provided in conjunction with full-service spa services)

RED
MUG
MUR
MUO
UMU
WMUO
SPD
RED-MX

For More Information

Please contact the Planning Information Center (PIC) for questions about the Massage Establishment Legitimization Program.
Phone: (415) 558-6377
Email: pic@sfgov.org
1660 Mission Street, First Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103

Link to Ordinance 73-15 Massage Establishments
https://sfgov.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=3770126&GUID=E2B7CDFC-A9B7-41CA-AAD6-8B1349DD9BB9

 

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