City of Hagerstown, MD
Washington County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the City of Hagerstown 1-5-1976. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Land management — See Ch. 140.
Sanitation — See Ch. 200.

§ 147-1 Findings.

Whereas it has been determined by the Mayor and Council for the City of Hagerstown that there has been an increase in the number of massage businesses or establishments in the City of Hagerstown and that the unregulated proliferation of such establishments would be contrary to the public interest, therefore the Mayor and Council has determined that the licensing and regulation of such businesses or establishments is required to properly protect the public health, safety and general welfare of the citizens of the community.

§ 147-2 Definitions.

Unless the particular provision or the context otherwise requires, the definitions and provisions contained in this section shall govern the construction, meaning and application of words and phrases used in this chapter.
EMPLOYEE
Any person, other than a masseur, who renders any service in connection with the operation of a massage business and receives compensation from the operator of the business or from patrons.
EROGENOUS AREA
The pubic area, penis, scrotum, vulva, perineum or anus.
MASSAGE
Any method of treating the external superficial parts or internal parts of a patron for medical, hygienic, exercise or relaxation purposes, including but not limited to rubbing, stroking, kneading, tapping, pounding, vibrating or stimulating with the hands or any instrument or by the application of air, liquid or vapor baths of any kind whatsoever, alcohol rub or similar treatment, electric or magnetic treatment, physiotherapy or manipulation.
MASSEUR
Any person who engages in the practice of massage as herein defined. The use of the masculine gender shall include in all cases the feminine gender as well.
PATRON
Any person who receives a massage.
PERSON
Any individual, firm, partnership, corporation, company, association, joint-stock association or legal entity of whatsoever kind or nature.
RECOGNIZED SCHOOL
Any school or institution of learning which has for its purpose the teaching of the theory, method, profession or work of massage and which is recognized by the American Massage Therapy Association.

§ 147-3 Required permits.

A. 
Business permit required. No person shall engage in or carry on the business of massage unless he or she has a valid massage business permit issued by the City pursuant to the provisions of this chapter for each and every separate office or place of business conducted by such person.
B. 
Masseur's permit required. No reason shall practice massage as a masseur, employee or otherwise unless he or she has a valid and subsisting masseur's permit issued to him or her by the City pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
C. 
Existing establishments. Upon application, the Chief of Police shall issue a temporary massage business permit to any applicant who was, upon the effective date of this chapter, the owner or operator of such an establishment in the City of Hagerstown. Such temporary permit shall remain in effect for a period of 30 days or until the issuance of the permanent permit, whichever is sooner. If the application for the permit is denied, said temporary permit shall immediately expire and be of no further force and effect.

§ 147-4 Application for massage business permit.

Any person desiring a massage business permit shall file a written application with the Chief of Police on a form furnished by the City Clerk. The applicant shall accompany the application with a tender of the correct permit fee to the City Clerk, as hereinafter provided, and shall, in addition, furnish the following:
A. 
The type of ownership of the business, i.e., whether individual, partnership, corporation or otherwise.
B. 
The name, style and designation under which the business or practice is to be conducted.
C. 
The business address and all telephone numbers where the business is to be conducted.
D. 
A complete list of the names and residence addresses of all masseurs and employees in the business and the name and residence address of the manager or other person principally in charge of the operation of the business.
E. 
The following personal information concerning the applicant, if an individual; and concerning each stockholder holding more than 10% of the stock of the corporation, each officer and each director, if the applicant is a corporation; and concerning the partners, including limited partners, if the applicant is a partnership; and concerning the manager or other person principally in charge of the operation of the business; and if one or more of the stockholders owning more than 10% of the applicant corporation is itself a corporation, the names and residence addresses of each of the officers and directors of said corporation and of each stockholder owning more than 10% of the stock of said corporation:
(1) 
Name, complete residence address and residence telephone numbers.
(2) 
The two previous addresses immediately prior to the present address of the applicant.
(3) 
Written proof of age.
(4) 
Height, weight, color of hair and eyes, and sex.
(5) 
Two front-face portrait photographs taken within 30 days of the date of the application and at least two inches by two inches in size.
(6) 
The massage or similar business history and experience, including but not limited to whether or not such person in previously operating in this or another City or state under license or permit has had such license or permit denied, revoked or suspended and the reason therefor, and the business activities or occupations subsequent to such action of denial, suspension or revocation.
(7) 
All criminal convictions other than misdemeanor traffic violations, fully disclosing the jurisdiction in which convicted, the offense for which convicted and the circumstances thereof.
(8) 
A complete set of fingerprints taken and to be retained on file by the Police Chief or his authorized representatives.
(9) 
A diploma, certificate or other written proof of graduation from a recognized school by the person who shall be directly responsible for the operation and management of the massage business.
F. 
Such other information, identification and physical examination of the person as shall be deemed necessary by the Police Chief to discover the truth of the matters hereinbefore required to be set forth in the application.
G. 
Authorization for the City, its agents and employees to seek information and conduct an investigation into the truth of the statements set forth in the application and the qualifications of the applicant for the permit.
H. 
The names and addresses of three adult residents of the county who will serve as character references. These references must be persons other than relatives and business associates.
I. 
Written declaration by the applicant, under penalty of perjury, that the foregoing information contained in the application is true and correct, said declaration being duly dated and signed in the City.

§ 147-5 Application for masseur's permit.

Any person desiring a masseur's permit shall file a written application with the Police Chief on a form to be furnished by the City Clerk. The applicant shall tender with the application the correct permit fee to the City Clerk, as hereinafter provided, and shall, in addition, furnish the following:
A. 
The business address and all telephone numbers where the massage is to be practiced.
B. 
The following personal information concerning the applicant:
(1) 
Name, complete residence address and residence telephone numbers.
(2) 
The two previous addresses immediately prior to the present address of the applicant.
(3) 
Written proof of age.
(4) 
Height, weight, color of hair and eyes, and sex.
(5) 
Two front-face portrait photographs taken within 30 days of the date of the application and at least two inches by two inches in size.
(6) 
The massage or similar business history and experience, including but not limited to whether or not such person in previously operating in this or another City or state under license or permit has had such license or permit denied, revoked or suspended and the reason therefor, and the business activities or occupations subsequent to such action of denial, suspension or revocation.
(7) 
All criminal convictions other than minor traffic violations, fully disclosing the jurisdiction in which convicted, the offense for which convicted and the circumstances thereof.
(8) 
A complete set of fingerprints taken and to be retained on file by the Police Chief or his authorized representatives.
(9) 
A diploma, certificate or other written proof of graduation from a recognized school where the theory, method, profession or work of massage is taught.
(10) 
A statement, in writing, from a licensed physician in the state that he has examined the applicant and believes the applicant to be free of all communicable diseases.
C. 
Such other information, identification and physical examination of the person as shall be deemed necessary by the Police Chief in order to discover the truth of the matters hereinbefore to be set forth in the application.
D. 
Authorization for the City, its agents and employees to seek information and conduct an investigation into the truth of the statements set forth in the application and the qualifications of the applicant for the permit.
E. 
Written declaration by the applicant, under penalty of perjury, that the foregoing information contained in the application is true and correct, said declaration being duly dated and signed in the City.

§ 147-6 Investigation and approval of permit.

A. 
Upon receiving the application for a massage business or masseur's permit, the Police Chief shall conduct an investigation into the applicant's moral character and personal and criminal history. The Police Chief may, in his discretion, require a personal interview of the applicant and such further information, identification and physical examination of the person as shall bear on the investigation.
B. 
In the case of applications for massage business permits, the Police Chief shall cause to be conducted an investigation of the premises where the massage business is to be carried on for the purpose of assuring that such premises comply with all the sanitation requirements as set forth in this chapter and with all other applicable laws, including but not limited to all federal, state and City building, fire, safety and health regulations.
C. 
Before any permit shall issue under this chapter, the Police Chief shall first sign his approval of the application.

§ 147-7 Issuance or denial of massage business permit.

The Police Chief shall issue a massage business permit within 45 days of receipt of the application unless he finds that:
A. 
The correct permit fee has not been tendered to the City and, in the case of a check or bank draft, honored with payment upon presentation.
B. 
The operation, as proposed by the applicant, if permitted, would not comply with all applicable laws, including but not limited to the City's building, zoning and health regulations.
C. 
The applicant, if an individual; or any of the stockholders holding more than 10% of the stock of the corporation or any of the officers and directors, if the applicant is a corporation; or any of the partners, including limited partners, if the applicant is a partnership; or the manager or other person principally in charge of the operation of the business, has been convicted of any crime, other than minor traffic violations, unless such conviction occurred at least five years prior to the date of the application.
D. 
The applicant has knowingly made any false, misleading or fraudulent statement of fact in the permit application or in any document required by the City in conjunction therewith.
E. 
The applicant has had a massage business, masseur or other similar permit or license denied by the City or any other state or local agency within five years prior to the date of the application.
F. 
The applicant, if an individual; or any of the officers and directors, if the applicant is a corporation; or any of the partners, including limited partners, if the applicant is a partnership; and the manager or other person principally in charge of the operation of the business, are not over the age of 18 years.
G. 
The manager or other person principally in charge of the operation of the business has not successfully completed a resident course of study or learning from a recognized school where the theory, method, profession or work of massage is taught.

§ 147-8 Applicability.

This chapter shall be construed to be applicable to all persons as defined herein, whether profit or nonprofit in nature, except as hereinafter provided.

§ 147-9 Exceptions.

The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to hospitals, nursing homes, sanatoriums or persons holding an unrevoked certificate to practice the healing arts under the laws of the state or persons working under the direction of any such persons or in any such establishment, nor shall this chapter apply to barbers or cosmetologists lawfully carrying out their particular profession or business and holding a valid, unrevoked license or certificate of registration issued by the state.

§ 147-10 Display of permits.

The massage business permittee shall display his permit, and that of each and every masseur employed in the establishment, in an open and conspicuous place on the premises of the massage business.

§ 147-11 Permit fees.

A. 
The permit fee for a massage business shall be $1,000 per year, due and payable on the first day of January of each calendar year. In the event that a permit shall be issued during the period from January 1 up to and including June 30 of a calendar year, the permit fee for a massage business shall be $1,000. In the event that a permit is issued at any time during a calendar year from July 1 up to and including December 31, the permit fee for that calendar year shall be $500.
B. 
The permit fee for masseurs shall be $25 per year, payable upon application. There shall be no proration of a masseur's permit fee regardless of when issued. In the event that a masseur's permit is denied, there shall be no refund of the $25 dollar fee referred to herein.
C. 
In the event that the application for a permit for a massage business shall be refused, then the application fee as tendered in accordance with the applicable provisions of this chapter shall be refundable up to and including the total sum of $750. $250 shall be retained by the City to cover investigation and administrative expenses.
D. 
The permits and fees required herein shall not be in lieu of but shall be in addition to any licenses, taxes or permits now required by the State of Maryland, county, City or any administrative agency thereof.

§ 147-12 Term of permit renewals.

A. 
The term of a massage business permit and masseur's permit shall be for a period of one year or any portion thereof to the time of the annual permit fee being due and payable.
B. 
The application shall be made by holders of massage business permits and masseur's permits no later than 45 days prior to the expiration of said permit. The application shall be made in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, and all provisions of this chapter shall apply to renewals in the same manner as they apply to original applications.

§ 147-13 Transferability of permits.

A. 
No massage business or masseur permits are transferable, separate or divisible, and such authority as a permit confers shall be conferred only on the permittee named therein.
B. 
No massage business permit shall be applicable to any other location other than that location set forth in the initial application under the terms of this chapter.

§ 147-14 Sanitation and safety requirements; inspection.

A. 
All premises used by permittees hereunder shall be periodically inspected by the Police Chief or his authorized representatives for safety of the structure and adequacy of plumbing, ventilation, heating and illumination. The walls shall be clean and painted with washable, mold-resistant paint in all rooms where water or steam baths are given. Floors shall be free from any accumulation of dust, dirt or refuse. All equipment used in the massage operation shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition. Towels, linen and items for personal use of operators and patrons shall be clean and freshly laundered. Towels, cloths and sheets shall not be used for more than one patron. Heavy white paper may be substituted for sheets, provided that such paper is changed for every patron. No massage service or practice shall be carried on within any cubicle, room, booth or any area within a massage establishment which is fitted with a door capable of being locked.
B. 
Nothing contained herein shall be construed to eliminate other minimum requirements of federal, state, county or City ordinances or regulations pertaining or applicable to the maintenance, control and operation of said premises nor to preclude any authorized inspections thereof by either the Building Inspector, Health Department or Fire Department or any other authorized inspections.
C. 
The premises used by permittees hereunder shall be subject to the right of entry and examination by the Chief of Police or his duly authorized agents or representatives or any other persons authorized to inspect premises of this nature as hereinabove set forth, during business hours.
D. 
This section shall not restrict or limit the right of entry vested in any law enforcement agency other than herein set forth.

§ 147-15 Supervision.

A permittee shall have the premises supervised at all times when open for business. Any business rendering massage services shall have one person who qualifies as a masseur on the premises at all times when the establishment is open. The massage business permittee shall personally supervise the business and shall not violate or permit others to violate any applicable provision of this chapter or any other applicable laws. The violation of any such provision by any agent or employee of the massage business permittee shall constitute a violation by the permittee and by the person violating the provisions of this chapter or any other law.

§ 147-16 Refusal of permit; hearing.

A. 
In the event that any applicant is refused a permit under the provisions of this chapter, the applicant shall have 10 days from the receipt of said refusal in writing to appeal to the Mayor and Council for a review of said application.
B. 
Said permittee shall then be entitled to a hearing on said application, either before the Mayor and Council or before some duly authorized or appointed administrative agency of the City designated by said Mayor and Council.
C. 
A record of said hearing shall be kept. In the event that said hearing results in further refusal, the applicant shall have all applicable remedies as set forth in the Maryland Rules of Practice and Procedure and the Annotated Code of Maryland for appeals from administrative agencies.

§ 147-17 Revocation or suspension of permit; hearing.

A. 
Any massage business or masseur's permit issued under this chapter shall be subject to suspension or revocation by the Police Chief for violation of any provision of this chapter or for any grounds that would warrant denial of issuance of such permit in the first place. The Chief, upon such revocation or suspension, shall state his reasons in writing, specifying the particular grounds for such revocation or suspension.
B. 
Said permittee shall then be entitled to a hearing on said application, either before the Mayor and Council or before some duly authorized or appointed administrative agency of the City or a hearing board consisting of at least three persons designated by said Mayor and Council.
C. 
A record of said hearing shall be kept. In the event that said hearing results in further refusal, the applicant shall have all applicable remedies as set forth in the Maryland Rules of Practice and Procedure and the Annotated Code of Maryland for appeals from administrative agencies.

§ 147-18 Minors on premises prohibited.

No person shall permit any person under the age of 18 years to come to or remain on the premises of any massage business establishment as masseur, employee or patron, unless such person is on the premises on lawful business.

§ 147-19 Alcoholic beverages on premises prohibited.

No person shall sell, give, dispense, provide or keep or cause to be sold, given, dispensed, provided or kept any alcoholic beverage on the premises of any massage business.

§ 147-20 Prohibitions.

A. 
It shall be unlawful to remain open or to provide services between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 8:00 a.m.
B. 
It shall be unlawful for any person in a massage establishment to place his or her hands upon, to touch with any part of his or her body, to fondle in any manner or to massage an erogenous area of any other person.
C. 
It shall be unlawful for any employee in a massage establishment to expose the erogenous area or any portion thereof to any other person. It shall also be unlawful for any person in a massage establishment to expose the erogenous area or any portion thereof to any other person.
D. 
It shall be unlawful for any person, while in the presence of any other person in a massage establishment, to fail to conceal with a fully opaque covering the erogenous area of his or her body.
E. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to act as a masseur in any place other than a licensed massage establishment.
F. 
All other acts set forth herein are in addition to all other acts prohibited by this chapter and the laws of the State of Maryland.

§ 147-21 Violations and penalties.

A. 
Every person convicted of a violation of any provision of this chapter shall be punished by a fine of $500 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 60 days in the county jail, or by both fine and imprisonment, within the discretion of the court.
B. 
The penalties as set forth herein are in addition to and not in derogation of any other penalties provided in this chapter or under the applicable laws of the State of Maryland.
C. 
The penalties as set forth herein are also in addition to all civil remedies that may be applicable.