Skip to content

Business Action Alert: Vashon’s Wineries, Breweries, Cideries in Danger

  • Share:
September 10, 2019

Business Action Alert: Tell King County “Vashon Is NOT Sammamish!”
Vashon’s Wineries, Breweries, Cideries in Danger

On Monday, September 16th, King County Council will vote on Ordinance #2018-0241.2 which would force some of Vashon’s wineries, breweries and cideries to shut down. The ordinance would impose conditions that some could not meet and keep their doors open. I am writing this to you to ask for you to take specific action today to save island small businesses by calling and/or emailing your support for an amendment to the legislation by Joe McDermott, which will save our fellow businesses.

King County Is Using a Bulldozer to Weed the Garden

The ordinance  has been aimed at solving some acknowledged serious problems with traffic at the dozens of adult beverage tasting rooms in Sammamish. A consultant who helped draft the ordinance never came to Vashon, never conducted an economic impact study of the damage this ordinance could do to our Island businesses. A countywide ordinance to solve one community’s problem is like using a bulldozer to weed your garden. This is legislation with out representation.

Every Vashon Business Has a Stake in This

We’ve all enjoyed the benefits of Island visitors who come to make the rounds of our wonderful wine, beer and cider producers. They attract visitors year round who come for a tasting and stay to shop, have a meal and take in some music or art. That’s what’s at stake -- not only our local small beverage businesses but our local restaurants, shops, galleries and all the other places where visitors enjoy our community. Plus there’s all the support our beverage producers give to our Island non-profits. There’s never a fundraiser without a glass or auction prize that doesn't feature something local.

For more information about this issue visit the Chamber website:

We Need Your Help to Take Action Now!

Please call and email King County Council members and let them know that we need Councilmember McDermott’s amendment to be included in Ordinance #2018-0241.2.
We’ve made it easy for you to fit this into your busy day. Below are tools for making Vashon's voice heard:
  • A sample email and talking points.
  • Phone numbers for the King County Council members who will be voting on Monday.
  • A link that will take you to a form for an automated email.
Thanks for your time

Jim Marsh
Executive Director, Vashon Island Chamber of Commerce

Here’s Your Action Alert Toolkit

Please join us by phoning or emailing to support Councilmember McDermott’s proposed amendment to the legislation. You can use the following talking points when you call or email.

Hello, my name is ____ and I am a member of the community on Vashon Island. I am calling/emailing to voice support for the amendment that Councilmember McDermott has proposed to the winery, brewery, and distillery ordinance that you will be considering this coming Monday, September 16th.
The wineries and breweries on Vashon Island are integral to the community on the island, and contribute to the economy in ways that go far beyond purchases of beverages. Tasting room visitors and wine club members that visit Vashon enjoy our small tasting venues and then head into town and spend their money in the shops and restaurants on Vashon before returning home.
The wineries, cideries, and breweries on Vashon Island have never had the kind of traffic and parking complaints you have heard from the community in Sammamish Valley. Unfortunately, the consultant who helped draft the proposed legislation never visited Vashon and didn’t understand that.
The wineries and cideries in our island community support King County’s agricultural heritage by growing grapes, apples and pears in their own vineyards and orchards.
Our Vashon economy teeters on a knife edge. This legislation, if not amended, will damage our community. King County needs to find ways to support small businesses on Vashon Island, not enact legislation that would force them to shut down.
Please vote to include the amendment drafted by Councilmember McDermott that will protect current businesses but ensure that future beverage makers will be included in the new regulations.

Please call or email these King County Council members.

Rod Dembowski, Council Chair, District 1, 206-477-1001, 
Larry Gossett, District 2, 206-477-1002,
Kathy Lambert, District 3, 206-477-1003,
Jeanne Kohl-Welles, District 4, 206-477-1004,
Dave Upthegrove, District 5, 206-477-1005,
Claudia Balducci, Council Vice Chair, District 6, 206-477-1006,
Pete von Reichbauer, District 7, 206-477-1007,
Reagan Dunn, Council Vice Chair, District 9, 206-477-1009,

Please cc Joe McDermott on any emails sent to the other council members so that their office can also track comments.  And thank Joe McDermott for his support of the Vashon community.
Joe McDermott, District 8, 206-477-1008,
Jim Marsh, Executive Director
(206) 463-6217