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Environmental Health

Massage Licensing Program Ordinances

San Francisco Health Code, Article 29


"In December 2003, the Board of Supervisors passed a new ordinance repealing Article 27 of the San Francisco Police code and amending the San Francisco Health Code, Article 29, to allow the Department of Public Health to license and regulate massage practitioners and businesses. The Ordinance mandates that every individual wishing to practice the art of massage or to operate a massage establishment in San Francisco must be licensed by the Department of Public Health. City officials estimate that over 800 business licenses will be affected by the new ordinance."


The new ordinance recognizes that massage is a healing art and that regulation and enforcement of health and safety standards for massage is most appropriately conducted by the Department of Public Health.

San Francisco Planning Code, Sec.204.1

No use shall be permitted as an accessory use to a dwelling unit in any R or NC District which involves or requires any of the following:

  1. Any construction features or alterations not residential in character;
  2. The use of more than ? of the total floor area of the dwelling unit, except in the case of accessory off-street parking and loading;
  3. The employment of any person not resident in the dwelling unit, other than a domestic servant, gardener, janitor or other person concerned in the operation or maintenance of the dwelling unit;
  4. Residential occupancy by persons other than those specified in the definition of family in this Code;
  5. In RH-1(D), RH-1 and RH-1(S) Districts, the provision of any room for a roomer or boarder with access other than from within the dwelling unit;
  6. Addition of a building manager's unit, unless such unit meets all the normal requirements of this Code for dwelling units;
  7. The maintenance of a stock in trade, or the use of show windows or window displays or advertising to attract customers or clients; or
  8. The conduct of a business office open to the public.

Provided, however, that Subsection (h) of this Section shall not exclude the maintenance within a dwelling unit of the office of a professional person who resides therein, if accessible only from within the dwelling unit; and provided, further, that Subsection (g) shall not exclude the display of signs permitted by Article 6 of this Code. (Amended by Ord. 443-78, App. 10/6/78; Ord. 69-87, App. 3/13/87)

Complaints may be made to the Planning Department in writing or by calling (415) 575-6863.