Snohomish county coffee stands narrowly avoid forced installment of indoor plumbing
The Washington State Department of Health is walking back its rule requiring permanent plumbing for food establishments after leaders from dozens of coffee stands spoke out against it.
“There were a lot of questions, a lot of confusion amongst various local health jurisdictions on how to do that,” Nate Nehring, Snohomish County councilmember, told KIRO Newsradio.
When he received an influx of concerns from community members and leaders, he set up a Zoom meeting with 20 to 25 coffee stand owners to hear how the rule would affect the businesses and the ability to continue operations.
Following the meeting, he made a call to the staff at the Snohomish health district.
“The timing worked out pretty well because the health district had received an update from the state that they were essentially walking back this code change so that it will no longer require a closure or modification to the coffee stands, and they’ll be able to continue operating as is,” Nehring said.
“This was going to cause significant damage to their business and cost, you know, in some cases tens of thousands of dollars … to have that burden lifted and some relief provided is really great for them and their businesses,” Nehring said.
He added that the lack of opportunity for public input prior to the decision by the Washington State Department of Health was “one of the most frustrating things.”
After concerned local businesses and leaders reached out, Nehring said it sent a strong and clear message.
“I hope that means we won’t have to deal with this sort of thing in the future,” he said.