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Claremont law could limit new salons, spas

March 28, 2008|Francisco Vara-Orta | Times Staff Writer

There may be a little less beauty in downtown Claremont if the City Council pushes through a restrictive ordinance on salons.

Under the proposed ordinance, any new hair, nail, skin care, and tanning salons and day spas in Claremont Village would be restricted to second-floor or alley locations.

Backers of the proposal said the rules are needed to prevent an over-concentration of beauty businesses in the downtown area.

The ordinance, unanimously passed on its first reading at Tuesday's council meeting, was introduced because city and Chamber of Commerce officials were worried that the 25 beauty salons in the village were creating an imbalance between retail and service shops, according to Anthony Witt, the city's director of community development.

But the ordinance hasn't jelled with all salon owners.

Nancy Lodolo, owner of The Hair After, has owned her salon for 23 years and said she feels the city wants businesses that cater to high-income customers. Her village shop serves mainly college students and seniors.

"The city is lumping all beauty services together, tanning, makeup, spas, and that doesn't feel fair," Lodolo said. "They should let the market dictate the need. I just feel if a business is going to make it, they're going to make it."

The restrictions will have a second reading at the council's April 15 meeting, and if adopted, would go into effect in mid-May. The rules would not affect existing salons.

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francisco.varaorta@ latimes.com

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