Opinion: A new Washington state rule will force coffee stands out of business and cancel your favorite Latte

Mark Harmsworth of the Washington Policy Center discusses the requirement that will require the stands to have ‘permanent plumbing’ installed, including toilets.

Mark Harmsworth of the Washington Policy Center discusses the requirement that will require the stands to have ‘permanent plumbing’ installed, including toilets

Mark Harmsworth
Washington Policy Center

A recent change to the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) rules that applies to coffee stands around the state will require stands to have “permanent plumbing’’ installed, including toilets. The impact to many smaller coffee stands will be significant as the installation of permanent plumbing will require thousands of dollars of construction to each stand.

Mark Harmsworth, Washington Policy Center
Mark Harmsworth, Washington Policy Center

Some coffee stands are too small to contain a toilet and will be forced to close.

Many stands today use small water tanks or bottled water for coffee and cleanup operations and use toilets in adjacent buildings. Many coffee stand owners are understandably concerned if they can even afford to make the changes to comply with the new rules.

King 5 reports that a petition has been created by several of the affected coffee stand owners urging repeal of the new rules. The petition, as of this morning, had garnered 5,000 signatures.

The new WAC rules are yet another example of the government passing a mandate on business with no thought for the fiscal impact. The small coffee stands are not built to contain large sinks, toilets and other plumbing and rely on adjacent buildings for those services. Ironically, if the coffee stand was mobile, the rules would not apply.

Coffee stands have been operating safely for decades. There is no underlying public health problem that needs to be addressed. Why is there suddenly a health hazard now?

The change in the rules should at least be suspended until public feedback and a review is completed on if the change in the rules is even required.

The WAC rule change was adopted in March 2022 and businesses have until September to comply.

Mark Harmsworth is the director of the Small Business Center at the Washington Policy Center.


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David Roberts
David Roberts
5 months ago

DAVE ROBERTS thinks this is a really dumb rule and and should be repealed.

Mike
Mike
5 months ago

The price we all pay for people that vote (D)… those in power do not care about the “little people” or “small business”.

Michael TB
Michael TB
5 months ago

But why, we don’t the why the change was proposed. Or by whom.

Wolfie
Wolfie
5 months ago

This is exactly what some people want. Shut down small business and have control.

Sylvia
Sylvia
5 months ago

Mid-terms are not far off. Use the time and opportunity to express your honest opininion wisely and compassionately, to restore equitability, true democracy and protect our Constitution.

mark
5 months ago

Social networking has quickly become one of the most valuable ways to promote businesses, and it’s a strategy that any business can easily utilize to promote its products and services. 

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