Authority over unlicensed massage parlours expanded

News Sep 14, 2017 by Bill Jackson Kitchener Post

Amendments to the city’s bylaw governing adult entertainment parlours will make it easier for enforcement officers to gain right-of-entry into unlicensed establishments.

As previously written, the bylaw set right of entry as a condition of the business licence, making it difficult for bylaw officers to clamp down on those in contravention.

In the future, city staff will be able to exercise their full authority under the Municipal Act, which will allow them to inspect all businesses to determine compliance.

“We receive complaints about these types of establishments, both from other business owners and neighbouring properties, and if we can’t gain right of entry it’s difficult for us to do a proper inspection and have those places licensed or escalated to a point where we can shut them down,” said Helen Fylactou, the city’s manager of licensing services.

By definition, “adult entertainment parlours” can range from stores selling adult magazines to strip clubs offering lap dances.

During the past two years, the city says it has only received complaints regarding unlicensed adult massage parlours — just one in 2016, but six already in 2017.

“Under our current bylaw there’s only two places that are permitted to have that with a licence, so if we received that type of complaint, yes, we will go in,” Fylactou said.

Complaints concerning alleged criminal activity are forward to police, but when it comes to massage parlours that aren’t just massage parlours, bylaw officers are now authorized to enter the premises, enabling them to better address concerns moving forward, Fylactou said.

Her report that went to council back in August also modernized language to coincide with the “changing landscapes of adult businesses.”

For example, the definition of adult goods has been expanded to include toy vaginas in addition to penises, however, lubricants and contraceptives are now excluded.

And provided they adhere with various stipulations, businesses are now allowed to carry adult goods without a licence, as long as those products don’t exceed five per cent of the total store area.

“What we are seeing is businesses that typically didn’t carry these types of products are now carrying these types of products that you found at the Love Shop, which is why we made the change,” Fylactou said.

She said more comprehensive review of the bylaw is in staff’s work plan for 2019.

Ed Reiber, manger of a Love Shop in Cambridge, argues a more thorough analysis might benefit the city.

Reiber came before council last Monday to appeal a licence for a new Love Shop at 2399 Kingsway Dr.

While the store requires a zone change or minor variance, it also fell within 400 metres of an adult massage parlour, which is prohibited under the current bylaw.

Reiber said there’s really no entertainment offered at the Love Shop whatsoever, save for the products people purchase to enjoy at home.

“Before there used to be the old, seedy porn store where you could go in, rent a movie, go into a room watch the movie, drop it off and leave,” he said. “Now we’re more of an upscale store. You walk in, you shop, just like any other retail store or whatever. You’re just buying adult goods and you go home.”

No one opposed the Love Shop’s application, not even the owners of the nearby massage parlour, which is a relatively small operation in comparison, Reiber said.

“We’re looking at roughly a 7,000- to 10,000-square-foot space for the store,” he said. “That’s a lot of difference in tax dollars for the city.”

Coun. Scott Davey said he doesn’t believe in government-imposed morality in such instances and council voted to approve the licence subject only to the required zone change.

A similar mindset might be needed moving forward, Reiber warned.

“With the changes in society, people don’t go out anymore,” he said. “They stay home.”


Authority over unlicensed massage parlours expanded

News Sep 14, 2017 by Bill Jackson Kitchener Post

Amendments to the city’s bylaw governing adult entertainment parlours will make it easier for enforcement officers to gain right-of-entry into unlicensed establishments.

As previously written, the bylaw set right of entry as a condition of the business licence, making it difficult for bylaw officers to clamp down on those in contravention.

In the future, city staff will be able to exercise their full authority under the Municipal Act, which will allow them to inspect all businesses to determine compliance.

“We receive complaints about these types of establishments, both from other business owners and neighbouring properties, and if we can’t gain right of entry it’s difficult for us to do a proper inspection and have those places licensed or escalated to a point where we can shut them down,” said Helen Fylactou, the city’s manager of licensing services.

By definition, “adult entertainment parlours” can range from stores selling adult magazines to strip clubs offering lap dances.

During the past two years, the city says it has only received complaints regarding unlicensed adult massage parlours — just one in 2016, but six already in 2017.

“Under our current bylaw there’s only two places that are permitted to have that with a licence, so if we received that type of complaint, yes, we will go in,” Fylactou said.

Complaints concerning alleged criminal activity are forward to police, but when it comes to massage parlours that aren’t just massage parlours, bylaw officers are now authorized to enter the premises, enabling them to better address concerns moving forward, Fylactou said.

Her report that went to council back in August also modernized language to coincide with the “changing landscapes of adult businesses.”

For example, the definition of adult goods has been expanded to include toy vaginas in addition to penises, however, lubricants and contraceptives are now excluded.

And provided they adhere with various stipulations, businesses are now allowed to carry adult goods without a licence, as long as those products don’t exceed five per cent of the total store area.

“What we are seeing is businesses that typically didn’t carry these types of products are now carrying these types of products that you found at the Love Shop, which is why we made the change,” Fylactou said.

She said more comprehensive review of the bylaw is in staff’s work plan for 2019.

Ed Reiber, manger of a Love Shop in Cambridge, argues a more thorough analysis might benefit the city.

Reiber came before council last Monday to appeal a licence for a new Love Shop at 2399 Kingsway Dr.

While the store requires a zone change or minor variance, it also fell within 400 metres of an adult massage parlour, which is prohibited under the current bylaw.

Reiber said there’s really no entertainment offered at the Love Shop whatsoever, save for the products people purchase to enjoy at home.

“Before there used to be the old, seedy porn store where you could go in, rent a movie, go into a room watch the movie, drop it off and leave,” he said. “Now we’re more of an upscale store. You walk in, you shop, just like any other retail store or whatever. You’re just buying adult goods and you go home.”

No one opposed the Love Shop’s application, not even the owners of the nearby massage parlour, which is a relatively small operation in comparison, Reiber said.

“We’re looking at roughly a 7,000- to 10,000-square-foot space for the store,” he said. “That’s a lot of difference in tax dollars for the city.”

Coun. Scott Davey said he doesn’t believe in government-imposed morality in such instances and council voted to approve the licence subject only to the required zone change.

A similar mindset might be needed moving forward, Reiber warned.

“With the changes in society, people don’t go out anymore,” he said. “They stay home.”


Authority over unlicensed massage parlours expanded

News Sep 14, 2017 by Bill Jackson Kitchener Post

Amendments to the city’s bylaw governing adult entertainment parlours will make it easier for enforcement officers to gain right-of-entry into unlicensed establishments.

As previously written, the bylaw set right of entry as a condition of the business licence, making it difficult for bylaw officers to clamp down on those in contravention.

In the future, city staff will be able to exercise their full authority under the Municipal Act, which will allow them to inspect all businesses to determine compliance.

“We receive complaints about these types of establishments, both from other business owners and neighbouring properties, and if we can’t gain right of entry it’s difficult for us to do a proper inspection and have those places licensed or escalated to a point where we can shut them down,” said Helen Fylactou, the city’s manager of licensing services.

By definition, “adult entertainment parlours” can range from stores selling adult magazines to strip clubs offering lap dances.

During the past two years, the city says it has only received complaints regarding unlicensed adult massage parlours — just one in 2016, but six already in 2017.

“Under our current bylaw there’s only two places that are permitted to have that with a licence, so if we received that type of complaint, yes, we will go in,” Fylactou said.

Complaints concerning alleged criminal activity are forward to police, but when it comes to massage parlours that aren’t just massage parlours, bylaw officers are now authorized to enter the premises, enabling them to better address concerns moving forward, Fylactou said.

Her report that went to council back in August also modernized language to coincide with the “changing landscapes of adult businesses.”

For example, the definition of adult goods has been expanded to include toy vaginas in addition to penises, however, lubricants and contraceptives are now excluded.

And provided they adhere with various stipulations, businesses are now allowed to carry adult goods without a licence, as long as those products don’t exceed five per cent of the total store area.

“What we are seeing is businesses that typically didn’t carry these types of products are now carrying these types of products that you found at the Love Shop, which is why we made the change,” Fylactou said.

She said more comprehensive review of the bylaw is in staff’s work plan for 2019.

Ed Reiber, manger of a Love Shop in Cambridge, argues a more thorough analysis might benefit the city.

Reiber came before council last Monday to appeal a licence for a new Love Shop at 2399 Kingsway Dr.

While the store requires a zone change or minor variance, it also fell within 400 metres of an adult massage parlour, which is prohibited under the current bylaw.

Reiber said there’s really no entertainment offered at the Love Shop whatsoever, save for the products people purchase to enjoy at home.

“Before there used to be the old, seedy porn store where you could go in, rent a movie, go into a room watch the movie, drop it off and leave,” he said. “Now we’re more of an upscale store. You walk in, you shop, just like any other retail store or whatever. You’re just buying adult goods and you go home.”

No one opposed the Love Shop’s application, not even the owners of the nearby massage parlour, which is a relatively small operation in comparison, Reiber said.

“We’re looking at roughly a 7,000- to 10,000-square-foot space for the store,” he said. “That’s a lot of difference in tax dollars for the city.”

Coun. Scott Davey said he doesn’t believe in government-imposed morality in such instances and council voted to approve the licence subject only to the required zone change.

A similar mindset might be needed moving forward, Reiber warned.

“With the changes in society, people don’t go out anymore,” he said. “They stay home.”