Arlington advisory vote on fireworks ban to appear on November ballot

ARLINGTON – Arlington residents will get to have their say this fall on whether to ban all fireworks citywide.

The City Council Monday voted to put an advisory vote on the Nov. 5 general election ballot.

The “yes-no” ballot measure will read: “Should the City Council ban the possession, sale and discharge of all consumer fireworks within the City of Arlington?”

The advisory vote is non-binding, but would ultimately help guide the council in further discussions whether to outlaw fireworks, add more restrictions to existing fireworks laws or leave them alone.

At the same time, Snohomish County is moving ahead with an advisory vote that would ban sale, possession and discharge of fireworks in unincorporated areas.

Marysville already bans fireworks in that city, which followed an advisory vote.

Arlington is seeking volunteers to write the pro and con statements for the measure, which would be printed in the voters guide. Committees are allowed to have up to three members.

Those interested in serving on one or the other committees are asked to email city spokeswoman Kristin Banfield at kbanfield@arlingtonwa.gov or call 360-403-3444 no later than 5 p.m. Aug. 9. Statements must be submitted to the Snohomish County auditor by Aug. 15. Rebuttals in response to opposing committee statements are due by Aug. 20.

Council members last month discussed the impact that illegal and “safe and sane” fireworks activity has on and around the Fourth of July holiday, to families and neighborhoods that use fireworks for their own celebrations, and the pressure the activity puts on public safety resources.

State law requires any local ordinance that is stricter than state law to have a one-year waiting period before it takes effect. If the council adopted a new law on June 15, 2020, the last meeting before July 4, it would not take effect until June 2021.

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