Licensing Control of Commercial Bathhouses
Commercial bathhouses operating in the Urban Council area are currently subject to licensing control by the Commercial Bathhouses (Urban Council) By-laws.
2. The definition of 'bathhouse' as laid down in By-law 3 includes any premises maintained or intended to be maintained for the payment of a fee, of persons requiring a bath, but does not include any swimming pool or any bathhouse managed by the PUC. The word 'bath' also includes sauna and Turkish baths.
3. This licensing control cover bathhouses located in clubhouses, fitness centres and large private residential estates, which fall within the above definition.
4. The primary objective of licensing commercial bathhouses is to protect public health and safety. Commercial bathhouses are required to meet the standards as laid down in By-law 6, namely provision of layout plans, sufficient means of ventilation, adequate means of lighting, smooth/imervious wall faces, impervious floor surfaces, sufficient sanitary fitments, proper drainage arrangement and proper water supply.
5. When a licence application is filed to the licensing authority (PUC), it will be referred to the Principal Government Town Planner for clearance to ascertain if there is any planning objection.
6. If built-in communal bath tubs are to be installed or the premises not resting on soil, the proposed layout plan will be referred to the Buildings Department for comment on structural safety.
7. If liquefied petroleum gas exceeding the exempted quantity of 50 kg, diesel or kerosene is intended to be stored/used at the premises, Fire Services Department will also be consulted.
8. USD will then conduct site inspection to ascertain if the premises are suitable for licensing.
9. When there is no objection from all parties concerned, a Letter of Requirements will be issued to the applicant within 8 weeks from the date of site inspection. When the applicant reports that he has complied with all licensing requirements, verification inspection will be carried out.
10. Subject to full compliance with all licensing requirements, a licence will be issued to the applicant within 7 workings days. If not, the applicant will be informed of the outstanding requirements and asked to expedite compliance.
Commercial Bathhouses in Regional Council Area
11. Commercial bathhouses in the Regional Council area not required to be licensed at present. However, similar control will apply to the new commercial bathhouses which commence operation from 1 January 2002. For those existing immediately before this date, the control Regulation will not apply to them until 1 January 2002.