Kitsap County mulling ordinance to fence in 'bikini barista' stands

Kitsap County mulling ordinance to fence in 'bikini barista' stands
BREMERTON, Wash. -- Opponents of bikini barista stands in Kitsap County are taking an "out of sight, out of mind" approach to their problem by proposing an ordinance that would require tall fences around the stands.

In Bremerton, the owner of two local bikini barista stands said he's willing to work with county officials, but only to an extent.

Jerry Wilson says if residents truly wanted his businesses gone, they wouldn't buy their coffee from his stands.

"We've got enough customers that are voting with their dollars they spend everyday that say, 'We want this here,'" he said.

But there's a group of vocal Kitsap County residents who've made it known that they don't support Wilson's two Espresso Gone Crazy stands.

"That should be behind closed doors, and that is not behind closed doors," said John Phillips.

Phillips gets his coffee at a more family-friendly stand across the street, and he want the county to do more to hide the bikini stand from his view.

"There was a lady who was not really dressed, we'll say, and you could see her plain as day. I don't think it's appropriate," he said.

The county is now mulling an ordinance, called the Limited Apparel Business Ordinance, that would require higher fences or landscaping around the three espresso stands currently in business.

Wilson is concerned about how far the regulations will go.

"There's certain people out there, they're not going to be happy until we're completely closed down," he said. "It's not about the screening for them or the signage, it's about 'We don't want you here.'"

County officials say there have been no reports of lewd activity or crime around the stands, and wearing bikinis in public is not against the law.

For now, Wilson said he's willing to compromise.

"As long as I find out where that line is, where we can stop, I'm okay with working together with everyone," he said.