Decades-old ordinance nearly keeps legitimate business out of Sh -

Decades-old ordinance nearly keeps legitimate business out of Shrewsbury

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A decades-old ordinance recently had to be changed to allow a massage parlor to open in Shrewsbury.

The ordinance became a problem when a developer of a Massage Luxe store wanted to open at Kenrick Plaza.

The ordinance in question was put on the books in 1976 and was intended to crack down on brothels that often operated as thinly veiled massage parlors. It even cracked down on how employees dressed. It read in part:

“Hemliners of skirts, dresses or other such attire may be no higher than the top of the knee.”

It also forbade “diaphanous attire,” or see through tops.

Even though employees at Massage Luxe dress in a way that would not violate the ordinance, Massage Luxe developer Margo Alison knows why the rule was on the books.

“Back in the day, massage establishments did have bad reputations, not all but some,” said Alison.

Alison said city officials were happy to change the ordinance to allow Massage Luxe to open but massage therapists must be moderately dressed.

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