In the wake of two prostitution-related arrests at a spa in the city, Oakwood City Council members Monday agreed to tighten up city code.
In a unanimous vote, council gave tentative approval to an amendment addressing massage establishments.
"Really, it's more of the hours of operation, the licensing and background checks," City Manager Stan Brown said. "Those that work in those establishments, we want to make sure that they do have proper certification from the state as massage therapists and also that they pass background checks."
Brown confirmed the move is related to Coco Spa on Mundy Mill Road. He said officials have pulled its business license twice in recent years.
Oakwood Police arrested the spa owner, Chom Sik Ray, 70, of Duluth, on a charge of keeping a place of prostitution on Wednesday, October 29. Earlier in October, officers arrested spa employee Myoung Tucker on charges of prostitution, masturbation for hire and offering massage without a license.
In addition to protecting the public, Brown said the addition to the code will create what he called a, "better environment ," for legitimate massage businesses in the city.
"We have a lot of folks throughout the country that are massage therapists that have been properly trained and educated. We want to make sure that we honor that profession and not allow bad actors to mess up an operation like that."
In addition to licensing and background checks, the code amendment, to a degree, addresses visual access to massage businesses.
"We think the public should be able to see what they're walking into when they come up to the door. We want to make sure that there's an ability to kind of see inside the building and it not be completely blocked out."
The proposal would also prohibit operation of a massage establishment between the hours of 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. In addition, city officials included an identification requirement.
"It will be similar to where we have the alcohol server permits. Each one that works there will be background checked and will have identification they'll have to keep on them, and we'll be able to check that on a regular basis," Brown said.
City Council is expected to give final approval to the measure at a 6:30 p.m. called meeting next Monday at Oakwood City Hall.