Lacey considers public nudity ban, possibly cracking down on bikini baristas

LACEY, Wash. – One city in the South Sound is considering cracking down on public nudity after nearly a decade of complaints from the public.

A Lacey city council committee is looking into possibly enacting a public nudity ban that could impact a number of bikini barista coffee shops in the city.

Even though there are only a handful of coffee shops in the city of Lacey where baristas are wearing bikinis, or other sometimes more revealing clothing, city officials tell Q13 News residents have been complaining about the issue for nearly a decade.

“Some people will call us to say, ‘I went to get a cup of coffee and I got more than a cup of coffee,” explained city manager Scott Spence. “I think the concern is how do you address something like that?”

So far, the proposed ordinance language would prohibit men and women from intentionally showing their pubic areas and would ban women from showing their chests in public – except for breastfeeding and several other exempted activities.

Plus, city officials insist the proposed nudity ban doesn’t only impact bikini baristas – they say there are also concerns for nudity elsewhere.

“We have a beach at Long Lake Park,” said Spence. “Sometimes we get requests to do a parade that would potentially expose people to more what they would expect. And so public nudity would address those types of issues.”

Tuesday morning, a council committee forwarded the proposal to the full council for more discussion. As it stands, the city already has a ban on indecent exposure, but a nudity ban could likely mean the end for baristas who are sharing what some complain is too much skin.

“It is distinct and different than indecent exposure,” said Spence. “Public nudity is more clear in terms of what it means in case you violate something like that.”

City officials insist there is still plenty of time for the public to share its input with on any ban.

A final vote may not happen until later this summer. If passed, public nudity would be considered a misdemeanor.

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