County Council upholds Advisory Proposition 1 and bans fireworks
by Luke Putvin | Lynnwood Times
The following is a press release from Leslie Hynes, Public Information Officer at South County Fire:
Advisory Proposition 1-
Fireworks will be banned in South County Fire’s unincorporated service area in southwest Snohomish County beginning in 2021.
The Snohomish County Council on Wednesday unanimously approved the ban in the densely populated Southwest County Urban Growth Area, which includes all of South County Fire’s unincorporated service area.
In June, South County Fire filed a petition asking the council to create “no firework” area banning fireworks in the regional fire authority’s unincorporated service area. Fireworks are already banned in the four cities served by South County Fire: Brier, Edmonds, Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace.
County voters were asked to weigh in on the issue in an advisory vote in the November general election. Countywide, 56 percent supported banning fireworks. Within the South County Fire regional fire authority, support was even greater with 59.78% of voters favoring a ban.
Fire officials in south Snohomish County have been seeking a fireworks ban for more than 10 years. “This has been a long time coming. We are grateful to the County Council for listening to our voters. This action will prevent injuries and loss of life and property as well as restore a sense of security and peace of mind for the people we serve,” said South County Fire Board Chair Jim Kenny.”
During the County Council Meeting on December 4, Council Vice-Chair Nate Nehring said, “I’m personally not in favor of the ban; I voted no on the ballot measure. But the voters in this particular area overwhelmingly supported a ban through the ballot measure, and I want to keep my commitment to respecting the will of the voters, so I will be voting yes today on this particular ordinance.”
Sam Low, who was also previously against a fireworks ban, shared similar thoughts to Nehring. He said that he wanted to remain true to the votes of his constituents as well, so he would be voting in favor of the ordinance.
“I did lose my house to fireworks as a teenager,” Low said. “So I do understand what it’s like to lose everything from fireworks. And I do understand how important it is for people to have a voice in the process, and that’s what I like about the advisory vote; everybody had an opportunity to vote that wanted to… So I’m going to go with the majority of the voters who voted in this election and support the ban in the urban growth area as the ordinance states.”
Councilmember Stephanie Wright began with thanking South County Fire and their work with residents of the county. “I also wanted to thank you guys for supporting us going out and doing the ballot initiative to get that feedback… Looking at that map, I think that makes it clear that a ban is supported.”
David Chan, Commissioner of South County Fire also provided this statement:
“I have been working on the NO FIRE WORK ZONE since I was elected in 2005 more than 14 years ago. I want to thank the Snohomish County Council for following the will of people. As one testimonies said: ‘The times have changed.’ Many of the South County Fire area has been urbanized and the population density becomes very dangerous with fireworks. More importantly, all the South County Fire cities have banned fireworks already, and fireworks have been intensified in the unincorporated area.
Many residents have asked South County Fire to speak up for them. I also want to thank the support of these concernedresidents for getting the ordinance passed. We are looking forward to enjoying the Fourth of July Fireworks in the public display handled by professionals without seeing the predictable unnecessary fires and injuries caused by fireworks. If it is predictable, it is preventable.”