Legislature Advances Proposal Allowing Cafes in More Neighborhoods

House Bill 2252, sponsored by Representative Mark Klicker (R-16, Walla Walla), would require every city and town in the state to permit the operation of a neighborhood cafe in a residential zone, regardless of whether the zone allows other business uses. Under a substitute version of the bill approved Friday, as long as business owners didn’t propose a drive-thru, and the cafe wouldn’t be located on a street with only one egress (a dead-end road), there would be no size restriction on the amount of space a cafe could occupy, except a 500-square foot minimum. Cities also couldn’t require cafes to have more than two off-street parking spots, significantly less than the current parking requirements in many areas of the state. In Walla Walla, for example, current minimum parking requirements for a modestly-sized 1,000 square foot cafe would be 10 off-street spaces.

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