Buchanan County, VA
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Buchanan County at time of adoption of Code 4-7-1997 (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
[In regard to statutory references, unless the county specifically amends the statutory provisions to the contrary or repeals the statutory provisions, future amendments to said statute shall take effect as provided by law.]
For the purposes of this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them by this section:
HEALTH CLUB
Any establishment which offers service in the form of massage, baths, exercises or similar services, in combination to club members or to the public for a charge. The term "health club" does not include:
A. 
Hospitals, nursing homes, medical clinics or the offices or quarters of a physician, a surgeon or an osteopath.
B. 
Exercise clubs exclusively for members or clientele of one sex alone where the services, without massage in any form, are performed by persons of the same sex as the members or clientele.
C. 
Barbershops and beauty parlors.
MASSEUR AND MASSEUSE
A person who practices any one or more of the arts of body massage, either by hand or mechanical apparatus, oil rubs, corrective gymnastics, mechanotherapy, including color therapy, dietetics, hot packs, cabinet, tub, shower, sitz, vapor, steam or any other special type of bath.
This chapter is enacted for the purposes of securing and promoting the health, safety and general welfare of the people of the county.
It is hereby declared that the business of operating health clubs, as defined in this chapter, is business affecting the public health, safety and general welfare.
It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in the business of a health club without a permit or being in violation of any requirements or prohibitions set forth in this chapter or any regulation issued pursuant thereto.
A. 
No health club shall operate without first obtaining a permit.
B. 
No permit shall be issued for any health club, except to an owner or manager who is either a physician, a registered nurse with at least two years' nursing experience, a licensed practical nurse with at least four years' nursing experience or a registered physical therapist.
C. 
Permit forms are obtainable and are processed in the offices of inspections and permits.
D. 
Additional permits required.
(1) 
It shall be unlawful for any person, as defined in Subsection I of this section, to own or manage a massage parlor or health club, as defined herein, or to give a massage within Buchanan County or to offer to give a massage in Buchanan County or to offer to give a massage elsewhere if such offer is made within Buchanan County or for any masseur or masseuse to give or offer a massage without a valid nonsuspended permit issued pursuant to this chapter. Said permit must be conspicuously posted in the massage parlor or health club, that is, so that the permit may be readily seen by persons entering the premises in the public room thereof, or, if said massage is given in other than a health club, said permit must be available on request.
(2) 
It shall be unlawful for any person, as defined in Subsection I of this section, to establish, maintain or operate a health club in which he or she or a masseur or masseuse who does not have a valid nonsuspended permit pursuant to this chapter performs or offers to perform or where it is offered to perform massages, a massage in Buchanan County or elsewhere.
E. 
Any person desiring a permit hereunder shall make application to the County Administrator on forms provided by him. Each permit application shall be accompanied by an application fee of $50, payable to the Treasurer of Buchanan County. Each application shall contain the name, address, social security number, height, weight and current and last previous employment of the applicant. In addition, such application shall include a sworn statement as to whether or not the applicant has been, within the last five years, convicted, pleaded nolo contendere or suffered a forfeiture on any felony charge or on a charge of violating any provision included in §§ 18.2-344 through 18.2-353, 18.2-355 through 18.2-361, 18.2-365, 18.2-366, 18.2-367, 18.2-368, 18.2-370, 18.2-372, 18.2-374 through 18.2-379, 18.2-382 and 18.2-387 of the Code of Virginia, which laws relate to sexual offenses, or on a charge of violating a similar law of any other jurisdiction or on a charge of violating any provision of this chapter or similar ordinance in any other jurisdiction. The application shall state thereon, "it is unlawful for any person to make a false statement on this application, and discovery of a false statement shall constitute grounds for denial of an application or revocation of a permit." Each applicant shall be photographed and shall have his or her fingerprints taken, which fingerprints and photograph shall constitute part of the application. The permit shall be valid for a period of one year, and it may be renewed for additional one-year periods upon the filing of a new application and payment of the application fee of $50. All provisions of this chapter shall apply to renewals in the same manner as they apply to applications for and granting of initial permits.
F. 
Upon receipt of the application fee as provided for in the preceding subsection, the County Administrator shall make or cause to be made a thorough investigation relative to the application. The County Administrator shall deny any application for a permit under this chapter after notice and hearing if he or she finds that the applicant has been, during the previous five years, convicted, pleaded nolo contendere or suffered a forfeiture on any felony charge or on a charge of violating any provision included in §§ 18.2-344 through 18.2-353, 18.2-355 through 18.2-361, 18.2-365, 18.2-366, 18.2-367, 18.2-368, 18.2-370, 18.2-372, 18.2-374 through 18.2-379, 18.2-382 and 18.2-387 of the Code of Virginia, as amended, which laws relate to sexual offenses, or on a charge of violating any similar law of any other jurisdiction or on a charge of violating any provision of this chapter or similar ordinance in any other jurisdiction. The making of a false statement on the application as provided for in this chapter shall also be grounds for denial of this permit. Notice of the hearing before the County Administrator for denial of this application shall be given in writing, setting forth the grounds of the proposed denial of permit and the time and place of the hearing. Such notice shall be mailed by certified mail to the applicant's last known address at least five days prior to the date set for the hearing. The County Administrator shall submit his decision to the applicant within five days of his decision or within 30 days of his receipt of the application, whichever is the sooner.
G. 
The County Administrator shall revoke the permit of any person after notice and hearing if the County Administrator finds that such person has been, within the previous five years, convicted, pleaded nolo contendere or suffered a forfeiture on any felony charge or on a charge of violating any provision included in §§ 18.2-344 through 18.2-353, 18.2-355 through 18.2-361, 18.2-365, 18.2-366, 18.2-367, 18.2-368, 18.2-370, 18.2-372, 18.2-374 through 18.2-379, 18.2-382 and 18.2-387 of the Code of Virginia, as amended, which laws relate to sexual offenses, or on a charge of violating any provision of this chapter or similar ordinance in any other jurisdiction. The permit shall also be revoked by the County Administrator if he finds, after notice and hearing, that any permit holder has made a false statement on the application provided for herein. Notice of the hearing before the County Administrator for revocation of the permit shall be given in writing, setting forth the grounds of the proposed revocation and the time and place of the hearing. Such notice shall be mailed by certified mail to the permit holder's last known address at least five days prior to the date set for the hearing.
H. 
It shall also be unlawful for any person to purport to hold a valid permit when they do not or to fail to display, upon request to any police officer, corroborating identifying evidence that he or she is, in fact, the person displaying the permit or to fail to display the permit upon request by a police officer. It shall likewise be an automatic cause for revocation of the permit of any owner or manager of a massage parlor should they have two or more violations of these provisions in their establishment within a twelve-month period.
I. 
A person applying for a permit hereunder shall include a partnership or association and any partner or member thereof, or, if the applicant is a corporation, it shall include any officer, director or manager thereof or shareholder owning 10% or more of its stock and shall likewise include members of both sexes.
J. 
In the event that the County Administrator should deny or revoke any permit hereunder, the applicant shall have an automatic right to appeal such denial or revocation to the Board of Supervisors. The Board shall hold a hearing with the same procedural guidelines as set out above for the County Administrator, within 30 days of the date of the denial or revocation. The Board shall render its decision after a review of the findings of the County Administrator and any other evidence submitted to the Board. The Board shall submit its decision to the applicant or permit holder within five days of its decision or within 30 days of the hearing, whichever is sooner.
A. 
No person shall give or offer or hold oneself out to offer a massage as a masseur or masseuse within the meaning of this chapter or employ or engage as an independent contractor any masseur or masseuse who gives or offers or holds oneself out to offer a massage unless such person shall have satisfactorily completed a course or courses of study in body massage in an approved school of instruction or training within the criteria and guidelines set forth below:
(1) 
Said courses shall pertain to anatomy, physiology, hygiene, first aid, exercise therapy, massage techniques and related aspects of the art and science.
(2) 
A course of study in body massage shall constitute 1,000 hours of study in connection with an approved school.
(a) 
Five hundred hours of said study shall be accredited instructional hours pertaining to:
[1] 
Classroom or clinical training in therapeutic massage and reflexology techniques.
[2] 
Classroom or clinical instruction or contraindications for massage.
[3] 
Classroom or clinical or laboratory instruction to develop a knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the systems of the body, with emphasis on the muscular and skeletal systems.
(b) 
The additional 500 hours may be accomplished simultaneously with the academic, clinical or classroom or laboratory training by virtue of what is commonly known as "on-the-job training" or can be certified to by an employer of a masseur or masseuse by sworn affidavit as having been accomplished during or before the effective date of this chapter. Such training shall pertain to understanding the benefits of massage and assisting the students in developing an awareness of massage as a therapeutic process.
B. 
Approved schools.
(1) 
Any school or education institution licensed to do business as a school or educational institution in the state in which it is located and providing requisite training herein provided for shall constitute an approved school.
(2) 
Any school recognized by or approved by or affiliated with the American Massage and Therapy Association, Inc., shall constitute an approved school.
C. 
Compliance with this section shall first be determined by the County Administrator, with the same rights of appeal and hearing to the Board of Supervisors as elsewhere granted in this chapter.
D. 
Employment shall be established by sworn affidavit from the employer; after which time such person must be actively engaged, enrolled or participating in a course of study designed to fulfill the requirements of this section and which is certified to by an official of the approved school. The burden of establishing such active engagement, enrollment or participation shall be upon the person seeking a permit herein.
E. 
In no event shall any person within the purview of this chapter act as aforesaid without satisfying the training requirement set forth, within Buchanan County.
A. 
All tables, tubs, shower stalls and floors, except reception and administrative areas, shall be made of nonporous materials which may be readily disinfected.
B. 
Closed containers shall be provided for wet towels and waste material.
A. 
No health club shall begin operations until the building occupied or to be occupied shall have been approved by the County Administrator, who shall establish procedures for investigation and report by the administrative officers of the building, plumbing, electric and fire prevention regulations.
B. 
An applicant for a permit to operate a health club shall submit to the County Administrator plans and specifications of the quarters proposed to be occupied. Such plans shall show details of entrances, partitions, windows, openings, ventilation, plumbing fixtures, water supply and vent connections.
C. 
Each health club shall be equipped with separate readily available toilet and lavatory facilities for patrons and separate readily available toilet and lavatory facilities for personnel. Each operating area shall be equipped with a hand lavatory.
D. 
Either the club quarters or the floor of the building on which the quarters are located shall be equipped with a service sink for custodial services.
A. 
All equipment, shower stalls, toilets, lavatories and any other such accouterments of the establishment shall be regularly treated with disinfectants and shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition at all times.
B. 
Health, plumbing, electric and other inspectors shall be given access to any part of the quarters of a health club for purposes of inspection at all reasonable times.
C. 
No person shall practice any of the services of a health club without a certificate of good health issued by a duly licensed physician, commensurate with the nature of the services rendered. Such certificate shall be renewed every six months.
D. 
No health club shall knowingly serve any patron infected with any fungus or other skin infections; nor shall service be performed on any patron exhibiting skin inflammation or eruptions, provided that a duly licensed physician may certify that a person may be safely served, prescribing the conditions thereof.
E. 
All personnel shall wash his or her hands in hot running water, using a proper soap or disinfectant, before giving any service or treatment to each separate patron.
F. 
All towels and tissues, all sheets or other coverings shall be used singularly for each patron and discarded for laundry or disposal immediately after use.
G. 
Nondisposable tools of the trade shall be disinfected after use upon one patron.
No part of any quarters of any health club shall be used for or connected with any bedroom or sleeping quarters; nor shall any person sleep in such health club, except if it shall be for limited periods incidental to and directly related to a massage or bath. This provision shall not preclude the location of a health club in separate quarters of a building housing a hotel or other separate businesses or clubs.
It shall be unlawful for any establishment, regardless of whether it is a public or private facility, to operate as a massage salon, bath parlor or any similar type of business where any physical contact with the recipient of such services is provided by a person of the opposite sex. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall, upon conviction, be punished as provided in this Code; and, in addition to such penalty, it shall be the duty of the County Administrator to revoke the license of the owner or manager of the establishment wherein the provisions of this section shall have been violated.
A. 
No owner or manager of a health club shall tolerate in his establishment any activity or behavior prohibited by the laws of the commonwealth, particularly, but not exclusive of, § 18.2-365 et seq. of the Code of Virginia, proscribing prostitution, sodomy, a bawdy place, adultery, fornication and any lewd and lascivious cohabitation, etc., and § 18.2-372, being the state statute on obscenity, dealing with shameful or morbid interest in nudity or sex, which appeals to prurient interest and which covers obscene items, exhibitions, performances, indecent exposure, illicit photographs or photographic activity and illicit modeling; nor shall any owner or manager tolerate in his or her establishment any activity or behavior which violates this Code, particularly, but not exclusive of, those sections which parallel the state statutes on immorality and obscenity detailed above.
B. 
Any conviction of any employee of a health club of a violation of the foregoing mentioned statutes and codes shall devolve upon the owner or manager of such club, it being specifically declared hereby that, following such a conviction of an employee, the owner or manager of the club shall be prosecuted as an accessory to such violation.
This chapter shall be construed to be compatible with and not in conflict with supplementary sections of this Code.