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Manatee County to crackdown on illegal massage parlor activity

Posted at 11:19 PM, Nov 21, 2019

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. -- Manatee County leaders are teaming up with law enforcement to crackdown on illegal activity at local massage parlors.

Commissioner Misty Servia has introduced a proposed ordinance that would require all businesses to be licensed with the county and allow routine, random inspections by the Manatee County Sheriff's Office or code enforcement.

"Massage establishments have been in existence for decades in this community and it’s been an eyesore and creating blight for a long time and the time has come to say goodbye to these businesses," said Servia.

According to the sheriff's office, there are 12 known massage parlors in Manatee County.

Norm Luppino has spent more than three decades living and working in southern Manatee County.

The real estate agent says "seedy" spas are hurting his bottom line.

Both Manatee County leaders and residents are concerned with late-night massage parlors popping up along U.S. 41, a major corridor entering the county.

"I personally have experienced listings where other agents have canceled the showings because they had to pass one of these and said buyers didn’t want their families to grow up in this area," said Luppino.

The ordinance will have a public hearing in December. Servia tells ABC Action News, it could go into effect as early as the new year.