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Opponents Of Lice Removal Salon Win Appeal

The city failed to follow its own rules in permitting the business to operate on Main Street, according to an attorney for the appellates.

City officials admitted Wednesday that its own rules were not followed when a proposed lice removal salon was approved for the 500 block of Main Street.

A group of businesses opposed to the salon hired a law firm to investigate the city’s procedure in allowing the operation, and the resulting letter from that law firm resulted in the city council upholding the appeal.

That means the lice removal salon will be required to apply for a conditional use permit, and meanwhile the city will be adding such a use into its zoning code. The process should take at least 60 days, according to City Attorney Jeff Walter.

He told the council that over the past ten years, city staff has determined informally whether or not a particular business would fall within a certain zoning category. While that has been expedient, it does not follow the city’s own rules in how such determinations are supposed to be made, he said.

“I’m not too happy having our rules handed back to us in the bottom of the ninth,” said councilman Mark Ross, who was a proponent of the salon. “The applicants have gone so far down the track, only to be told that government is now changing the rules on them.”

“My concern is for the businesses that have been on Main Street for many years and have invested many thousands of dollars, and we’ve totally ignored their concerns,” said councilwoman Lara DeLaney. “I’m sorry for the investments they’ve made, but more sorry for investments that have already been made by the existing businesses. That’s where my interests lie.”

“I was concerned with the downtown business district when the medical marijuana clinic was proposed by you,” Ross shot back at DeLaney, at which point Mayor Rob Schroder asked for an end to “the grandstanding.”

Schroder said the entire process was a case study for city government. On the one hand, he said, there was the initial emotional response – his was “hell, no, not on Main Street” – and then the rights of the women who invested time and money into improving the space based on the city’s approval of the project, and finally having an outside attorney point out that the city had failed to follow its own rules in allowing the salon to operate in the proposed location.

The applicants will have to apply now for a conditional use permit while the city adds this particular use to its municipal code. The Planning Commission and City Council will have to approve the addition. 

Jed May 03, 2012 at 01:20 PM
Another slow news day, huh?
Kayleen Parks May 03, 2012 at 01:26 PM
What are the "rules" that weren't being followed?
Chris Kapsalis May 03, 2012 at 02:32 PM
I believe this is news, and will in fact shape the way our city handles future controversial businesses from opening on Main Street and elsewhere. Just by the comments alone, hundreds of them from several articles on this issue, it is news and of interest to a lot of people. It is a decisive issue, and one I will say we have mostly all agreed to disagree on, and life goes on. Looking back just a few years, the 500 block was a ghost block mostly, and now is busy with people. Downtown is making a big turn around, and changing, and this is part of that, as is the pockets and other stories related to downtown. I am happy for one thing, it appears now they will have to get it right, and make the rules so this kind of dispute and issue does not come up again, and this forms a city. From a local standpoint, it is big news. I think anyway. As for what rules were not followed or what was said or read at the city council meeting, the minutes and a live video can be seen on our cities web site ex[plaining what riles the attorney felt were broken in allowing this lice salon to possibly locate there.
maria Billingsley May 03, 2012 at 02:54 PM
I imagine the lice salon is not considered as a "salon or barbershop" and falls under no category so they have to file for a conditional use permit.
Jane May 03, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Unfortunate! Here's a list of Lice Removal salons and pros in California. http://www.licedirectory.com/USA/CALIFORNIA(CA)/
nana solem May 03, 2012 at 04:47 PM
How sad your city is so full of petty minded people.
Chris Kapsalis May 03, 2012 at 06:15 PM
Well you have just personally attacked and insulted a whole city. Nice. Also, does your city have a lice salon? Also, we have a head shop , a different kind of head shop, but it is not allowed on our only Main Street. Getting involved and giving your opinion, for change or policy is something to be proud of, and agree to disagree like adults, unlike what you just did. However, the vast majority of what I read about these unregulated lice salons popping up all over is they are a racket. Read for yourself what people are saying who used some of these lice salons and decide for yourself about them. Of course some are bias and some are legitimate grievances or praises. They need rules, they need to be regulated, categorized and controlled, to keep them honest, and keep people safe, not only from possible harm from mistreatment, but from losing a lot of money needlessly from a very new industry that as of now has no rule basically. This may turn out to benefit everyone, even legitimate lice salons. I think some people are scared the party may be over. Millions are being made and as I said, I read countless comments about them being scams and rip offs on the Internet. And I am sure some are legitimate businesses, so it would be in their best interest to weed out the bad apples that could possibly give all lice salons a bad name. IMO
Chris Kapsalis May 03, 2012 at 06:37 PM
I do like the advice on the bottomw of your link. ..... it's very important to take the same common sense precautions online as you would offline. Check references before using these services. Disclaimer The contents of the LiceRemovers.org Site, such as text, graphics, images, and other material contained on the LiceRemovers.org Site ("Content") are for informational purposes only. (The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.) Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the LiceRemovers.org Site.
Chris Kapsalis May 03, 2012 at 06:42 PM
This disclaimer proves these are unregulated people , who knows if they know what they are doing? Who knows if they are honest? Who knows if they are professionals? A Scam? Yes, ask your doctor please before using any of these lice salons. A doctor will probably tell you how to take care of it yourself for little or no money, who knows? We need regulations. Rules, so we can trust these lice salons and trust they even know what they are doing.
Jade Love May 03, 2012 at 07:12 PM
Chris didn't you welcome this business with open arms about a month ago?? Just saying.
Chris Kapsalis May 03, 2012 at 07:31 PM
No, I never did. I always thought it was the wrong location, but open arms in another location, like not next door to a deli and next to where my wife sells clothing on Main Street. I felt then as I do now, that another location would be better for everyone. Just one mans opinion, which just happens to be shared by many others including most of the nearest business owners to the proposed lice salon.. However, now after learning more, I do feel rules and regulations should be made to regulate this type of business. If it is legitimate, with people properly trained and screened maybe, and rules, I think a lice salon would do well in Martinez, but still not next to a deli and clothing store on Main. You must have me confused with another Chris, just saying.
Chris Kapsalis May 03, 2012 at 07:45 PM
Jade. I did say after the planning com vote and if the city did allow the lice salon to move there, we should live with it and welcome them, Nd not hold on to any hostility. Live with the ruling vote. ( was just my opinion) and stop any would be drama hard feelings. But until then. I said we should speak up. Also i believe i said i still think it is the wrong location for a lice salon. So maybe that was the misunderstanding.
Joseph Lee May 03, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Well here is the proof that you did Chris. Just Saying...... Chris Kapsalis 7:11 pm on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 Now approved, welcome to Martinez. I will say the article says only two people showed up to voice concerns about the lady bugs lice salon. So that was the chance I think if any business owners/people had a problem with it. Now approved, imo, we should welcome the new salon and hope it does well. I still think a better location would have been better, but it was not tops on my priority list, plus I am not currently a business owner on Main Street. If I was, esp with a deli next door, I would have went, I hope it doesn't hurt luigi's, but if he didn't go, then I guess he is fine with it, and so am I. If I read that right. Welcome to town and hope you do well. We will see what happens though as far as store policies about this or that, trying on clothes, but it really isn't that big a deal to me directly, I think, well not a big a deal enough to motivate me to go to the meeting. Much success in your new store lady bugs lice salon.
Chris Kapsalis May 03, 2012 at 09:28 PM
Opinions do change as people learn more sometimes, and I learned more. Yes, it appeared they were approved and I was dropping it, but it was far from over. The time for debate is before they are allowed to move in, not after and hold grudges, which I do not like to do. I also said " I still think it is not the right location) which is far from open arms as you put it. ) after learning more, and my wife who sells clothing next to it, it was unsettling to her, and the more I read about these lice salons and lack of regulation and rules, I assumed at the time they were professionals. They might not be it turns out. We need news laws. Opinions do change as we learn and learn new facts as well. But why on earth would I not welcome a business that was approved and allowed to move in? To cause drama? I aint like that. The time for debate as I said is now, and this is the time to voice your opinion. I also had a bit of futility after reading only town people showed up to speak at that meeting, later more people got involved. Maybe that jump started a few to get involved? Who knows. And thanks for your looking that up for me. I did not in fact welcome them with open arms, ever. I would if they do in fact move in. I would not try to shut them down, but I will hope they do not move into that location. Just my opinions, just saying.
Chris Kapsalis May 03, 2012 at 09:34 PM
PS, it is proof I never did welcome them with open arms, only was gracoulsy accepting the decision of the planning commision.. Thanks .
Anne Mobley May 04, 2012 at 04:34 AM
Wow - Jane from New Jersey on Martinez CA Patch!!
Anne Mobley May 04, 2012 at 04:37 AM
Nana from Rohnert Park too! Wow!!
Joseph Lee May 04, 2012 at 05:03 AM
Before you go through all the trouble. I live in Martinez.
diana May 04, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Well, it was a bad idea from the beginning. Everyone was strongly against it and the kept telling the city. No one listened. How does it make sense to try to promote our city when no one tries to put up cool establishments ( i.e coffee shops, clothing stores, theater.) Basically something normal, not a lice salon, a million bail bonds and sketchy bars.cannibus club= awesome. Lice salon= bad. Both should not be on main street though. That street should be reserved for future cool and awesome things. Maybe the city should hire younger people bc the thought process is super dated. I mean how many antique shops does it need? Lets save Martinez downtown!
diana May 04, 2012 at 04:36 PM
Nana Jane , the people of martinez are totally awesom and not narrow minded they just dont want a gross lice salon on main street. What is so hard to understand?pick another street. Not the street where people go to take walks and eat and chill w/ their friends.Martinez needs to focus on making the place cool, like downtown walnut creek and pleasant hill. Do you see lice salons on their main streets? Do we see sketchy bars? A million antique shops, and bail bonds? Umm nooo.So forget the lice salon and put the efforts into making the place great. I say theater!!! That should be step one, next we only need 3 or 4 antiques. After that tell the bar owners to spice up their bars to bring different clients besides bikers. After that take out 50% of the bail bonds so there are only two or three left.... I mean what is wrong w the city planning people?
Anneli Loeffler May 05, 2012 at 12:10 AM
I do not believe a lice removal service belongs on Main Street. Palo Alto, Mill Valley, San Rafael, Burlingame, Lafayette - none of the lice removal businesses in these cities is located downtown. Its a shame that the city allowed it to get this far. I wonder if Martinez can support such a specialized business. Too bad its not something everyone would want to visit. I will still visit my fav places downtown because they are my favorites. I support local business. But I doubt I would ever need their services. Now, if only they were opening a dog wash that could help me with fleas...say for instance if there was a dog park at the Marina, then people would be able to clean their dogs after playing, take them home, then come back and spend their money here, instead of Pleasant Hill or Walnut Creek.
Jed May 05, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Are lice that big of a problem that they need a salon? What kind of hair style would a louse want anyway? A buzz cut? That would be bees... lousey way to go. Seriously - how many people HAVE lice in the first place and that said, how many of those people walk right past any of us during the course of a day? What if they have the dreaded Mexican Jumping Lice?? I think this has a lot to do about nothing - just a few self-serving, narrow minded people not wanting somebody else's business "in their little world". If there is a NEED for a business it will survive, if there is not - that business will fail and go away. Self realizing.
Chris Kapsalis May 06, 2012 at 12:20 AM
Can I respectfully ask you Jed if you would have the same opinion if it were a legal adult bookstore, or marijuana dispensary, strip club? or pawnshop? Or bail bonds? Sometimes some people feel a certain type of business will hurt there's if it moves in next to them, also is not right for certain areas, like a liqueur store or cigarette shop next to a school say. Has nothing to do with narrow mind, in fact the opposite I believe. However you do make a good point. Probably a couple do walk past us, but with a lice salon dozens will for sure walk past us. But that is not the problem, it is image, and also them sitting in the chair ( in some peoples minds maybe) in a place they eat before them that may keep people away. Not narrow minded at all. And finally, I would suggest you see your doctor if you think you have lice, or your kids, it is highly contiguous and maybe you should keep them out of school until they are cured, but it is fine for them to show and go store to store with lice? I heard most people think they have lice but in fact do not anyway, a doctor can make that determination, and then point you in the right direction for proper treatment. These are unregulated, and we do not even know if they are experienced as of yet, until we make changes to the codes etc.

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