Commission tables massage parlor discussion
By Brad Pedersen
Published: Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012, 8:54 p.m.
The North Huntingdon planning commission hopes get more information on the proprietors of Shao Ping He Chinese Massage Therapy before granting permission to move into a location on Robbins Station Road.
On Monday, the planning commission tabled plans for the proposed massage parlor in order to research the business and run background checks on its proprietor, Jiedan Li of Pittsburgh, and potential employees.
The parlor would be located in the former Curves location.
“There's no delicate way to put it, but the elephant in the room is if it's a business we'll end up seeing on the news every other month because the police shut it down,” said planning commission member Stephen Cross. “It's our only real concern.”
The township's zoning ordinances list massage parlors as an adult business, which requires them to receive a conditional use permit from the township, according to Andrew Blenko, township planner and engineer.
According to the township's zoning ordinances, officials define an adult business as those depicting sexual activities or selling devices or paraphernalia connected to sexual activities, such as strip clubs, adult bookstores and adult movie theaters.
The board of commissioners can grant a conditional use permit after hearing the planning commission's recommendation and a public hearing, Blenko said.
Li, who does not speak English, used Steve Chiu as his translator.
Li operates three other massage parlors in Brookline, Gibsonia and Canonsburg and assured the commission that none of his parlors ever had been shut down because of illegal activities.
The planning commission hopes the background checks will confirm no illegal activities have taken place at any of Li's locations.
Building owner Joe Cugliari said he researched the massage parlor and any police record before meeting with its ownership. He said the background checks and business records contain no indication of illegal activities.
“Everything is clear. Otherwise, I wouldn't be here,” Cugliari said. “We don't foresee any problems should we be able to continue.”
North Huntingdon police do not have the authority to conduct background checks, but the planning commission could pay the state police to conduct background checks, Blenko said.
“We could make it part of our annual inspection of the business, but I'm not sure if that's something the commissioners would impose,” Blenko said. “We could run it by the township solicitor to see if it is doable.”
Blenko plans to contact officials in Brookline, Gibsonia and Canonsburg to discuss the business and if any illegal activities occurred.
The planning commission plans to discuss the plans further during its Jan. 7 meeting.
In other news
The planning commission granted approval for Dan Pasquarelli's plan to build a 1,575-square-foot building on a triangular lot at the intersection of Three Springs Road and Clay Pike with a 5-0 vote.
Planning commission member Larry Anlauf was absent, while Bernard Solomon abstained.
Pasquarelli, who is part-owner of Luciano's Pizzeria in White Oak, first approached the planning commission about building the restaurant on the lot on Nov. 5. The planning commission tabled his plans until December to await the zoning hearing board's decision.
The plans include 11 parking spots, including one for people with disabilities, according to surveyor Robert DeGlau.
Pasquarelli plans to demolish the current two-story building on the lot, which formerly housed Bubba Darius Restaurant. He expects to begin demolishing the current structure early next year.
Pasquarelli's plan must go before the board of commissioners during its voting meeting Wednesday for final approval.
Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8626, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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