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Best Massage now open under new owner

City allows operations while permit process goes on

May 11, 2011

A massage therapy business closed earlier this year after allegations of assault has reopened under new ownership.

Lay Phommasack, a Wind Lake resident, said she bought the business and has been operating Milwaukee's Best Massage, 611 N. Mayfair Road, since April 1. Except for the name and location, it's essentially a new business, she told the Plan Commission on Monday.

She was under the assumption that transferring ownership of the business would be a simple transaction. She soon learned she would have to complete a few more tasks to satisfy the city. She already has received her massage establishment license, which includes a criminal background check, and the occupational permit that shows building codes have been met.

City code also requires massage therapy businesses to get a conditional-use permit.

City Attorney Alan Kesner gave the OK for Phommasack to operate the business pending the permit process.

"When there is a simple change of ownership in a previously approved business, we will usually let them operate under the old approval until they can get through the six-week or longer process of getting conditional-use approval, rather than shutting down for that time, waiting to reopen the same thing that has been there all along," Kesner said.

Getting the Plan Commission's unanimous support was the first step. The request will next go to the Community Development Committee on May 31.

Going through the process again gives the new owner a fresh start with properly filed paperwork, Community Development Director Nancy Welch said. Phommasack added that all her massage technicians have state licenses.

The city previously approved this establishment's permits when it was operated by the former owner, Brian Norris, who is now facing criminal charges.

"Based on the police investigation, Norris would not be able to get a license were he to reapply for one," Kesner said. "So effectively he has been prohibited from reopening."

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