Lynnwood City Council likely to discuss fireworks ban

LYNNWOOD — The Lynnwood City Council is expected to consider a ban on Fourth of July fireworks in the coming weeks.

At the same time, some at City Hall are looking to revive Lynnwood’s own public fireworks display and Fourth of July parade.

Fireworks are one of the most contentious issues in town, said Sid Roberts, council vice president.

“Every year we get letters and emails from people who are really angry,” Roberts said. “As a council, we just need to discuss it and see if we want to pick our battle on this and deal with it and talk about it and vote it up or down and move on.”

At least seven other cities in Snohomish County have banned personal fireworks, including Everett and most of south county. The Lynnwood council last studied the issue at length about six years ago, Roberts said.

Roberts aims to get the topic scheduled for a work-session discussion within the next month or two. The tone of that discussion would determine whether they schedule a vote on a potential ban.

Those talks could overlap with a movement to bring back Lynnwood’s public fireworks display, which used to be held at the former high school property near the mall, Roberts said.

“Bringing back our Fourth of July parade and trying to find another place to have a fireworks show and celebration are being discussed,” Mayor Nicola Smith said this week.

She is asking people in town to come forward with ideas. She also wants to hear from potential volunteers and sponsors.

Public opinion seems evenly split about allowing personal fireworks in Lynnwood, Roberts said. The city gets the most complaints about fireworks from older folks and pet owners, whose animals are disturbed by the noise. He also is bothered by the amount of debris left on roads and sidewalks the next day.

“We’re not talking about little kids with sparklers,” he said. “We’re talking about stuff that shakes your house and shakes your windows and causes your dogs to feel afraid.”

In 2013, Lynnwood allowed legal fireworks from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. July 4, the same rules as Marysville, Granite Falls and Bothell.

Last year, the Lynnwood Police Department responded to more than 60 emergency calls about fireworks from July 1 through July 4, according to a department memo. At least two citations were issued during that time, and officers spoke with more than 30 people in neighborhoods where there were complaints.

Under state laws, any changes to city fireworks policies wouldn’t go into effect until 2015 at the earliest, Roberts said.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

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