City council allows Pawtucket to regulate spas

Pawtucket massage parlor open sign_226144

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — The Pawtucket city council has approved a law to allow the city to regulate spas.

Back in August, the Pawtucket city council passed a body works ordinance, but the mayor thought it was too vague.

The measure has been taken to clean up the city, ridding it of sex trafficking.

Eyewitness News first reported in August that the city council passed an ordinance giving the city the power to regulate and license so-called “body works spas” or “massage parlors” that offered more than just massages.

But the ordinance was perceived to be too broad by the mayor, including businesses that had pools, baths, saunas, dry saunas, towel treatments, showers, body scrubs and body showers.

“It left us vulnerable where certain establishments or organizations such as the YMCA might be in a predicament,” said Rep. Carlos Tobon, “so because of that he felt it gave way for current massage parlors or these types of establishments to maybe bring lawsuits to the city.”

Our news partners at the Providence Journal report, that the city will send out applications to 16 businesses that are potential licensees.

The businesses will have 15 days to respond before the city takes action.

Representative Carlos Tobon filed legislation to allow local municipalities to regulate spas and not be dependent upon the state.

“We want to make sure that the neighbors of these establishments don’t necessarily have to deal with this, we want to make sure that the people of Rhode Island have the pride and feel the respect that their leaders, their chosen leaders, are giving back to them. And its important that we protect the rights of women,” said Rep. Tobon.

Several other cities have passes similar ordinances in Central Falls, Cranston, Coventry, and Providence.

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