House gives unanimous approval to Klicker bill that would help strengthen neighborhoods, communities, and small businesses

The Washington State House of Representatives unanimously voted in favor of legislation from Rep. Mark Klicker on Friday that would promote a sense of community and belonging in residential neighborhoods throughout Washington.

In recent years, cafes have re-emerged as essential community spaces, enhancing the quality of life for residents. House Bill 2252, which would require cities and towns to allow neighborhood cafes that meet certain requirements to be permitted in residential zones, would further that trend.

The bill would allow these establishments to continue providing a unique social space for people to gather, connect, and relax, which would create a sense of belonging and safety.

“Having cafes and small grocers in neighborhood settings has had a positive impact on communities for decades,” said Klicker, R- Walla Walla. “These small, neighborhood cafes create a welcoming environment for everyone to come together and strengthen community bonds, which makes our communities feel safer and more connected.”

If the bill becomes law, a city or town must allow neighborhood cafes to be permitted in any zone allowing residential uses if they meet the following conditions:

  1. The total gross floor area of the café must be at least 500 square feet.
  2. No drive-through facilities are allowed and there can be no more than two parking spots.
  3. If alcoholic beverages are offered, food must also be offered.

The city would determine the cafe’s hours of operation, which could be limited based on each specific situation.

“This legislation would also be good for small businesses looking for additional locations to set up shop,” added Klicker. “So, by allowing cafes and small grocers in our neighborhood, we would also promote more economic development and growth, and increased job opportunities.”

HB 2252 now heads to the Senate for further consideration.


Washington State House Republican Communications