Kitsap approves regulations governing sexy coffee stands

PORT ORCHARD — Owners of adult-themed coffee stands in unincorporated Kitsap County will have to post signs warning would-be customers about their scantily-clad baristas, and they’ll have to do more to protect passers-by from seeing into their businesses.

“It’s always been a tough topic in terms of balance of regulation and personal accountability,” Commissioner Robert Gelder said. “Being able to move forward with something that is consumer awareness for signage and screening is an appropriate first step.”

The ordinance requires adult espresso stands — the three existing stands and any new ones — to install an 8-foot-high fence or landscape buffer, approved by the county Department of Community Development, in front of windows that face the street or other businesses, blocking views by the public. Businesses also must receive a one-time certification from DCD to guarantee the regulations are met.

New stands cannot be within 800 feet of residential zones, other adult-oriented businesses, public parks, libraries, public or private nurseries or preschools, schools, child-care facilities, churches or youth community centers, according to the passed ordinance. A sign warning the stands aren’t family-friendly must be posted before cars can reach the window.

The ordinance also requires all employees be at least 18 years old.

J.J. Wilson, owner of the Espresso Gone Crazy stands in Gorst, is agreeable to the changes. But he’s concerned that if the privacy screens become too big, his employees could be at increased risk.

Wilson’s stands haven’t had any problems with people behaving inappropriately, he hopes making them less visible from the road doesn’t change that.

“I know there’s a certain number of people that, regardless of what we’re going to do, it’s not going to make them happy,” he said. “The only thing that will make them happy is if they aren’t there.”