City of Orange Applying for Additional Harvey Disaster Relief Funds

Orange City Council Implements Stricter Regulations for Massage Parlors to Combat Criminal Activity

in Local Roundup

The City of Orange has taken a significant step towards curbing illegal activities associated with massage parlors by introducing a comprehensive ordinance that was unanimously approved by the City Council on April 23, 2024. The new regulation aims to address a recent uptick in criminal incidents, including prostitution and human trafficking, linked to these establishments.

The ordinance emerged following multiple Crime Stoppers tips and a noticeable increase in massage parlor openings in the area, which prompted a multi-agency investigation. This investigation led to the discovery of criminal activities across several locations in Orange County and Jefferson County, with multiple women being identified as victims of human trafficking.

The sting operation resulted in the following businesses being raided:

  • Anna Spa (1005 Green Ave. in Orange)
  • A1 Massage (2968 North 16th St. in Orange)
  • Jade Flower (11 Strickland Dr. in Orange)
  • Panda Spa (7014 Highway 87 in Orange)
  • Star Massage (3515 Mockingbird #C in Pinehurst)
  • Rainbow Massage (2070 #B Texas Ave. in Bridge City)
  • Sunlight Spa (120 West Bolivar in Vidor)
  • Long Long Health Spa (5425 College St. in Beaumont)

In response to these findings, the ordinance now clearly defines what constitutes a massage business, establishes stringent licensing requirements, and sets out protocols for both planned and surprise inspections by city authorities. Kelvin Knauf, Orange’s Director of Planning, emphasized the importance of distinguishing legitimate massage services from those facilitating illegal operations.

Under the new law, all massage therapists employed at local parlors must hold valid licenses issued by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. Licenses from other states will not be recognized, ensuring a standardized qualification within the city limits. Furthermore, the ordinance stipulates that massage businesses must operate within designated hours, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., addressing concerns about 24-hour establishments that had been problematic in the past.

This legislative move by the Orange City Council underscores a community-wide commitment to safety and legality, applying not only to two existing businesses but also to any future massage parlors that wish to operate within the city. The council and local law enforcement are dedicated to maintaining the integrity of Orange’s business environment, prioritizing the welfare of its citizens and the legitimacy of its enterprises.

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