San Marcos rejects massage parlor’s claim; lawsuit unlikely, attorney says

SAN MARCOS — San Marcos officials rejected a claim filed against the city by the owner of a defunct massage parlor who alleged the city violated its own ordinance by issuing a license to a competing parlor within 150 feet of the business.

But an attorney representing the business, whose license the city recently revoked, said the business owner likely will not file suit against the city, which should bring the saga between the city and the business to a close.

Typically, claims like the one filed by King Massage Parlor owner Xianhe Li are precursor to lawsuits after the city rejects the claim.

In the claim, the owner argued that the city last August issued a license to Crystal Massage, located at 705 Center Drive, which was less than 150 feet away from King Massage, located at 702 Center Drive.

This was after the city had adopted new massage parlor regulations in June 2017, which prohibited new massage parlors from opening within 1,000 feet of an existing establishment.

Xianhe Li filed the claim in November, arguing the city’s decision had harmed his business. The claim sought damages greater than $10,000.

“Ever since CM started its business so close to KM, KM suffered a lot of customer loss, which resulted in great income decrease,” the claim stated. “The City of San Marcos’ decision on the issuance of a MEL to CM is the direct and proximate cause of KM’s loss, therefore, the City of San Marcos shall compensate KM for its loss.”

Around the same time the city issued the new license to Crystal Massage, it had cracked down on King Massage after finding numerous violations during a routine inspection. The city ultimately revoked King Massage’s business license and the City Council upheld the revocation in January.

King Massage has since shuttered operations.

The City Council rejected Xianhe Li’s claim at the Feb. 27 meeting.

Xianhe’s attorney, Youjun Liu, said his client is likely not going to file a lawsuit, citing the revocation decision as the reason.

“The owner doesn’t want to fight against the city,” Liu said. “He realizes that it is so difficult. The first case (the revocation) was so difficult, the council members are not law professionals, and I don’t think they quite understand the law, even the city’s own ordinances.

“The reality is from the first case, the owner has lost confidence,” Liu said.

 

 

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