Arlington considering outdoor smoking ban

ARLINGTON — A proposal to ban smoking, electronic cigarettes and chewing tobacco at city parks and trails is set to go before the Arlington City Council on Monday.

If approved, the ordinance would take effect by the end of the month.

City officials have talked off and on about a smoking ban for more than six years, assistant city administrator* Kristin Banfield said. The proposed ordinance is modeled after a regulation in Marysville, though Arlington’s has been expanded to include trails as well as parks, and electronic cigarettes as well as tobacco products.

People caught smoking or chewing tobacco in a park or on a trail could be fined up to $1,000 or get a maximum of 90 days in jail, according to the proposed ordinance.

The council is scheduled to vote during the meeting, which starts at 7 p.m. Monday in the council chambers, 110 E. 3rd St. The agenda includes a public comment time for people to address the council.

At least five other Snohomish County cities have banned smoking in parks: Marysville, Lake Stevens, Bothell, Sultan and Lynnwood.

Marilyn Oertle, who has lived in Arlington since 1974 and served on the City Council since 2000, said the motivation behind the smoking ban is two-fold. First, she believes it would improve air quality for park and trail users, including children. It’s a health concern for the community, she said.

“I think I have the right to breathe clean air,” she said. “I should be able to go to the park and not breathe smoke and step on cigarette butts.”

The second benefit of the ban is public safety, Oertle said. Arlington faces a problem with homeless people sleeping, smoking and using drugs in parks and on trails. The ordinance would give police the authority to question and detain people who are loitering in parks. Hopefully, homeless people can then be connected with social services, she said.

“I truly don’t know what the answer is,” Oertle said. “But it isn’t acceptable to have them sleeping in our parks. People are telling me they don’t feel safe.”

She expects enforcement to be the biggest challenge if the council approves the ordinance.

“It’s always difficult when you pass an ordinance the restricts people from doing something,” she said.

Kari Bray: 425-339-3439, kbray@heraldnet.com

* Correction, Aug. 18, 2014: This article originally used an incorrect job title for Kristin Banfield.

More in Local News

Everett district relents on eminent domain moving expenses

Homeowners near Bothell still must be out by April to make way for a planned new high school.

Their grown children died, but state law won’t let them sue

Families are seeking a change in the state’s limiting wrongful-death law.

Officials rule train-pedestrian death an accident

The 37-year-old man was trying to move off the tracks when the train hit him, police say.

Ex-Monroe cop re-arrested after losing sex crime case appeal

He was sentenced to 14 months in prison but was free while trying to get his conviction overturned.

Marysville hit-and-run leaves man with broken bones

The state patrol has asked for help solving an increasing number of hit-and-run cases in the state.

Everett man killed at bar had criminal history, gang ties

A bar employee reportedly shot Matalepuna Malu, 29, whose street name was “June Bug.”

Front Porch

EVENTS Autoharpist in Everett Folksinger, storyteller and autoharp virtuoso Adam Miller returns… Continue reading

Shock from WSU suicide ripples through Snohomish County

Roughly 1 in 10 seniors, sophomores and 8th-graders said they had attempted to take their own lives.

$1,000 reward for info on who killed an eagle near Snohomish

After being shot, the raptor was treated at the Sarvey Wildlife Center but died overnight.

Most Read