No decision once again for massage-therapy business in Carnegie

Megan Guza
| Friday, July 18, 2014, 1:30 p.m.

Carnegie Borough officials declined on Monday to make a decision on the conditional use of Main Street property as a massage therapy business.

“I understand this is taking longer that a normal conditional-use hearing, but there were some things we had to find out,” said borough solicitor Joe Lucas.

The hearing was a continuation from June 9. Council questioned Qun “Melissa” Shen about the Thai massage business at 39 W. Main St. Shen applied in April for an occupancy permit and was denied.

At that hearing, Shen's son, Max, translated for her. Shen speaks Mandarin Chinese.

On Monday hearing, Shen brought Pittsburgh attorney Jesse Chen as a translator.

Chen translated Lucas' questions about the types of services that will be offered.

Shen previously owned a massage business in Turtle Creek. She sold the business in October 2012 when her younger son was born. Lucas asked about several adult-oriented websites that had references to the Turtle Creek business offering sexual favors.

Shen said she has not been associated with the business since she sold it, and that she had no knowledge of the websites.

Shen said to begin, she would be the only employee. She said her son mistranslated in June when he said here would be three other employees.

Through Chen, Shen said that if she hires more employees, she will advertise in New York. Shen lived in New York when she came to the United States in 2010. She said she can hire only those who speak Chinese, because she does not speak English. Shen received her state massage therapy license last month. She said she acted only as manager at her previous business. Before that, she said, she did not perform massages.

Anita Riley of Pittsburgh, owns the property on West Main Street. She was cited last in May for failure to obtain an occupancy permit for Shen. The business had begun operating upon signing the lease but before obtaining an occupancy permit. In June, Shen said through her son she did not know she needed to have the permit before opening. Council did not ask any more questions on that aspect Monday.

Council closed the hearing and has 45 days to make a decision.

Shen implored council to render a speedy decision.

Through Chen, she said that her options are limited because she does not speak English. Because of her children's schedules, she has trouble finding a job that allows those hours.

Council President Pat Catena said the decision will most likely be handed down at the August voting meeting.

Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or

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