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Windsor Massage Parlour Regulations still in works

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Guest W***ledi*Time

Dylan Kristy reports for the Windsor Star, 17 May 2011:




WINDSOR, Ont. -- The city's move to regulate massage parlours has taken a small step in the right direction, says Coun. Fulvio Valentinis.


Windsor city council voted Tuesday night to restrict new massage parlours from opening within one kilometre of another and operating hours reeled back to 10 p.m.


"I'm very disappointed and would have liked to see the recommendations as put forward by the DWBIA implemented," Valentinis said.


"We are trying to change the image of the city and ... we keep hearing from people downtown that we are trying to create a better balance and we need to listen to the concerns expressed."


Council was originally presented with a bylaw with amendments proposed by the Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Association.


The association proposed massage parlours remain more than 450 metres away from an educational institutions, residential neighbourhoods or places of worship and must be one kilometre between institutions. It also proposed a prohibition of any distribution of promotional material, hours of operation be limited from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and that the violation of these limits can result in closure.


The proposed motion was defeated in a split decision with Coun. Ed Sleiman, Coun. Hilary Payne, Coun. Percy Hatfield and Coun. Joanne Gignac voting against, and Coun. Alan Halberstadt, Coun. Al Maghneih, Coun. Bill Marra and Valentinis voting in favour.


Payne argued that if the council is so set on eradicating massage parlours then it should address the issue "directly instead of indirectly through this bylaw."


Shari Cascadden, owner of the nowclosed Elite International, at 417 Ouellette Ave., said about two-thirds of its business was done after 10 p.m. and restricting hours of operation would be detrimental to business.


Virginia Cosco-Pizzuti, chair of the DWBIA, said the association is trying to market downtown Windsor as a family friendly environment, which is in direct opposition to massage parlours' practices.


"Sometimes people want to bring their family down to the core, and it can be intimidating to bring their families past an establishment like this where there's a lot of congregation and advertisement that isn't conducive to family-friendly locations," Pizzuti said.


Pizzuti said there are about eight massage parlours spread throughout the downtown core in places where she would rather see retail businesses.

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