Massage Establishment Permits

Ordinance 72-15 outlines DBI's role within the permit process for massage establishments. Under Section 29.28(a) of this ordinance, upon receipt of an application by the Department of Public Health, it shall be referred to the Department of Building Inspection, Fire, Police and Planning Department to inspect the premises for compliance under their respective codes. 

DBI's Overall Process

  • Filling out an applicationDBI receives Massage Establishment Referral from DPH. Owner is then contacted by DBI to come down to DBI’s office at 1660 Mission Street, 3rd Floor to pay inspection(s) fee and set up inspection(s). Note DBI will start this inspection process once we’ve received DPH’s referral document.
  • There may need to be three separate inspections scheduled, which include building, plumbing, and electrical. Inspection costs will depend on number of inspections to be conducted. 
  • DBI Inspector then goes out to site and inspects property for basic life-safety code violations. If no corrections are needed, inspector will provide Establishment Referral document with approval to DPH. Should corrections to life-safety violations need to be made, a re-inspection is scheduled and then conducted to ensure that required life-safety corrections have been completed. Permits may be required to address these corrections/code violations. During the process, DBI emails DPH at each milestone of the process (e.g. approval, not approved, or when additional code work is needed). Should DBI be unable to gain entry after two attempts, this information will reported to DPH. 

What DBI looks for during an inspection:

  • Inspections focus on basic life-safety requirements for building, plumbing and electrical. 
  • Because every building where such an establishment may be located is different, it takes the on-site inspection to determine what elements may reveal possible code violations. 
  • Building life safety priorities include looking to see if exits are open/unblocked, no locks and chains on fire escape areas; handrails, guardrails and stair components, lighted exit signs exist and function.


Department of Public Health - Massage Program

Planning Department - Massage Establishments


Donal Duffy
Senior Building Inspector
Building Inspection Division
(628) 652-3437