Advisory vote on fireworks ban in unincorporated Snohomish County passing
Voters are approving Prop. 1 (61% of the votes), which would approve an advisory vote on banning consumer fireworks in unincorporated “urban growth” areas of Snohomish County.
Currently, fireworks are allowed on July 4 from 9 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. in those areas. A ban would eliminate that 15 hour window for the discharge of fireworks. An advisory vote is non-binding, instead urging lawmakers to act on a measure.
Proponents say July Fourth revelers are better off enjoying a public display.
The argument in the voters’ pamphlet supporting the ban reads, in part, “For decades citizens of urban unincorporated areas of Snohomish County have suffered through the ‘war zone’ of noise, personal injury, property damages including both house and property fires, terrified pets and wildlife, and toxic noise pollution, as a result of urban citizen use of both legal and illegal fireworks.”
They say the local fire departments are taxed to the limit trying to deal with fireworks incidents and neighbors are left to clean up massive messes.
Critics say bans on fireworks are ineffective and those sensitive to the noise will still experience the booms. Not only that, but it “is incredibly unfair” to penalize revelers who respect the 15 hour discharge window.
“We should instead encourage the safe and courteous use of fireworks through education of current laws and regulations,” critics wrote in the voters’ pamphlet.
Most incorporated cities across Snohomish County already ban the discharge of consumer fireworks.