Proposed law aimed at Surfside Beach massage parlors needs further review

SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – A proposed law aiming to curb potential illegal activity at massage parlors and health clubs in Surfside Beach will need further review.

Surfside Beach Town Councilman Randle Stevens proposed the law to council during its regularly-scheduled meeting Tuesday evening. Stevens says the proposal would help align town regulations with state code and regulations for health clubs and massage – bodywork therapy parlors.

The proposal from Councilman Stevens comes more than a month after police raided three massage parlors in town, after complaints of alleged prostitution.

Stevens says the proposed law is based off of similar regulations in Columbia that addresses business licensing, hours of operation, prohibited activity and consequences for violations, among other things.

A decision paper presented to council claims “businesses that may come into the Town of Surfside Beach could apply and be granted a business license and actually run a business for unlawful purposes, that violate state and local laws.”

“Make sure our policemen … have the tools to stop this type of business from coming in to our town. We don’t need it. We’re the family beach. We’ve always been the family beach,” Stevens said.

While Stevens said the proposed law also helps protect legitimate massage parlors and health clubs, several council members raised concerns over the legality of the proposal. Several asked for further review by the town administrator, police chief and town attorney.

Council directed the town administrator to take a look at the proposal and make a recommendation in the near future on it.