CITY HALL — Massage businesses in Santa Monica will now be required to keep their doors unlocked during operating hours after the City Council on Tuesday voted to impose more stringent regulations on the parlors.
The new policy, which is meant to better ensure safety in the event of a fire, was one of a handful of changes authorized to the existing massage ordinance, some of which is being passed to bring local regulations in line with new state requirements that will go into effect on Sept. 1.
The council still needs to approve the changes upon second reading.
SB 731, which passed last year, permits cities to require that technicians have state certification but does not allow for them to force those who are already certified to obtain additional licenses. The local ordinance will be changed to provide exemption for state certified technicians from local permit requirements.
The revised ordinance will also require that businesses submit a current list of employees by the fifth working day of each month. Current regulations state that businesses must submit the list only when they apply for a permit.
No more waste<p>
While City Hall has been successful in working toward meeting its 70 percent solid waste diversion target by 2010, it’s looking to raise the bar even more.
The council directed its staff to develop a Zero Waste Strategic Plan, which will aim to bring the diversion rate — the amount of trash diverted from landfills — to 90 percent. City officials said that a 100 percent achievement is not possible because certain products are not recyclable.
Officials plan to work with Southern California Disposal and the Allan Company to develop the strategic plan. Both companies entered agreements with City Hall last year to provide transfer and recycling services starting in 2012.
City Hall in 2006 generated more than 384,000 tons of solid waste materials and diverted about 68 percent from the landfill as a result of educational outreach and recycling and composting programs.
Dean Kubani, the head of the Office of Sustainability and the Environment, said that other cities have adopted zero waste strategies. He said the plan will be presented in about a year and will include a cost and benefits analysis.
Fireworks show for pier centennial<p>
The sky will light up when the Santa Monica Pier turns 100 on Sept. 9.
The council gave the Santa Monica Pier Restoration Corp. (PRC) permission to stage a fireworks show from three barges in the Santa Monica Bay. The show will be the first of its kind at the pier in more than 20 years.
Councilman Kevin McKeown said he had some concerns about the possible contamination of the bay from chemicals in the fireworks and asked that pier officials research more environmentally friendly methods in keeping the sustainable reputation of the city.
The council also authorized the PRC to launch a new fundraising program involving the sale of small bronze plaques that will be posted on the bleachers at the west end of the pier. The plaques, which on average will cost about $200, will be inscribed with a maximum of 50 characters. The program is expected to raise about $40,000.
Ben Franz-Knight, the executive director of the pier, said that fundraising has been difficult, specifically in the area of corporate sponsorship. The PRC has raised about $270,000 from corporate sponsorships, grants, donations and other sources.