The Shelby Township Board of Trustees is loosening restrictions on massage parlors in the Township after an ordinance in the 1990s was passed to prevent prostitution at massage establishments.
Township Attorney Rob Huth said the industry has changed in the past 20 years, but in the early 90s, there was a high-profile case involving allegations of prostitution at a Shelby Township massage parlor.
“There were allegations of prostitution at several massage parlors,” he added.
For many years, the ordinance stated massages had to be done as an accessory to another business, such as a salon or doctor’s office. Now, a massage parlor can open in the city with the board’s approval of a special land use.
“We’re treating them differently. There will still be regulations, but it’s more reasonable,” said Huth.
The board’s decision has paved the way for LaVida Massage owner Stefanie Parenti to continue with her plan to open a center at the Hall Road Crossing shopping center.
“I choose to open LaVida in Shelby because my friend grew up here. We’re thrilled, and I think it’s a slam dunk for everyone,” Parenti, who own a LaVida franchise in Lake Orion, told the board.
LaVida Massage will occupy a 3,000-square foot building inside the shopping center off Hall Road, and will have several therapists trained in therapeutic massages and skincare.
Parenti said all therapists have completed massage school and the required practice hours. The Shelby Township Clerk’s office is responsible for regulating the therapists, and their qualifying documents.