The Stay Out of Designated Areas zone takes effect Tuesday in Smokey Point. (city of Arlington)

The Stay Out of Designated Areas zone takes effect Tuesday in Smokey Point. (city of Arlington)

Arlington enacts Stay Out of Designated Areas law

SMOKEY POINT — New rules here will allow judges to order people who have been charged with or convicted of drug crimes to stay out of certain areas.

It’s called a Stay Out of Designated Areas, or SODA, ordinance. Everett, Marysville and Bothell have similar regulations in place. Some stand for Stay Out of Drug Areas, but have the same effect.

The city has been focused on addressing crime throughout Arlington, spokeswoman Kristin Banfield said. “This is just one tool out of dozens. It takes all of them to address this problem.”

The Arlington City Council approved its Stay Out of Designated Areas ordinance Monday. Such ordinances often are used to address repeat offenders under the Controlled Substances Act, according to a city staff report. That means those charged with possession of drugs or paraphernalia and manufacturing or delivering drugs, including to minors.

The “designated area” outlined in the SODA ordinance is in Smokey Point. It stretches from I-5 on the west to 43rd Avenue on the east, and from 164th Street NE on the south to 175th Street NE on the north.

The new rules take effect Tuesday.

At the request of police or prosecutors, a municipal court judge can impose a SODA order during a drug-related criminal case originating in the designated area. Under the order, a defendant can be prohibited from entering that area for up to two years, though judges may make allowances for services in the boundaries, such as the transit station or state licensing office. A SODA order may be issued as a condition of pretrial release or deferral or suspension of a defendant’s sentence.

If someone under a SODA order is spotted in the area, an officer can arrest him or her. Violating an order is a gross misdemeanor.

“The City of Arlington has seen a steady increase in drug activity, drug-related arrests and drug-related overdoses over the last several years,” Police Chief Jonathan Ventura wrote in a memo to the mayor and City Council. “Drug trafficking occurs in both public and private locations, however some geographic areas have been more affected than others.”

The number of substance abuse related-incidents reported to police went from 448 in the city of Arlington in 2012 to 842 in 2016, Banfield said. The city tracks 911 calls and relies on officers’ experiences, community complaints and other data to know where problems are concentrated. Between January and May of this year, there were 318 incidents involving drug abuse in the city, most in Smokey Point.

The area outlined in the SODA ordinance has been identified as a “high narcotics trafficking area” based on the data. Arlington police plan to regularly update city leaders on violations so the area can be reassessed, including expanding or shrinking as needed.

The city also has launched public campaigns such as “All-In” and “Keep the Change,” won a grant to research services and needs, and is looking to add an embedded social worker who would work with police in North Snohomish County.

Arlington’s new SODA rules are in line with actions taken by other cities to combat what is often referred to as an opioid epidemic.

Everett designated its first SODA in 2007, and now has nine such areas. Marysville voted to establish a SODA downtown in 2012, and recently expanded it to include areas near the Snohomish River. Other cities with similar rules include Bothell, Shoreline, Seattle and Tacoma.

Kari Bray: 425-339-3439;

Talk to us

More in Local News

The county canvassing board certifies election results at the Snohomish County Auditor’s Office in Everett, Washington on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023.  (Annie Barker / The Herald)
General election results stamped official by canvassing board

In Snohomish County, one hand recount will take place. Officials said ballot challenges were down this year.

The Days Inn on Everett Mall Way, which Snohomish County is set to purchase and convert into emergency housing, is seen Monday, Aug. 8, 2022, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Over $130M for affordable housing set to be approved by County Council

The five-year investment plan of the 0.1% sales tax aims to construct 550 new affordable units.

Two snowboarders head up the mountain in a lift chair on the opening day of ski season at Stevens Pass Ski Area on Friday, Dec. 2, 2022, near Skykomish, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Ski season delayed at Stevens Pass due to minimal snow

Resort originally planned to open Dec. 1. But staff are hopeful this week’s snow will allow guests to hit the slopes soon.

Siblings Qingyun, left, and Ruoyun Li, 12 and 13, respectively, are together on campus at Everett Community College on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023, in Everett, Washington. The two are taking a full course load at the community college this semester. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Siblings, age 12 and 13, are youngest students at EvCC campus

Qingyun Li was 11 when he scored a perfect 36 on the ACT test. His sister, Ruoyun, was one point away.

Edmond’s newly elected mayor Mike Rosen on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Mayor-elect Rosen wants to ‘make Edmonds politics boring again’

Mike Rosen handily defeated incumbent Mayor Mike Nelson. He talked with The Herald about how he wants to gather the “full input” of residents.

A speed camera facing west along 220th Street Southwest on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Traffic cameras, and tickets, come to Edmonds; Mukilteo could be next

New school zone cameras in Edmonds will begin operating in January. Mukilteo is considering enforcement cameras as well.

A person walks their dog along a flooded Old Snohomish Monroe Road on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Flood-resistant floors and sandbags are price of riverside life in Sultan

Flooding is a threat every year for 75,000 locals — and the long-term forecast suggests it’ll only get worse in the coming decades.

3 men charged in armed home invasion near Everett

Prosecutors allege the trio targeted other Asian American homes across Snohomish, Whatcom and King counties.

Team members prep for the upcoming ski season at Stevens Pass Resort in Skykomish, Washington on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023.  (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Any day now: All eyes on snow forecast at Stevens Pass

The ski area was a flurry of activity this week, as staff made sure a new lift and app were running smoothly.

Carjacking suspects tracked via GPS from Everett to Renton, then arrested

A King County resident reported two people stole their Mercedes at gunpoint. Hours later, its GPS tracker pinged in north Everett.

Man sentenced for racist threats to Edmonds animal control officer

Sean Wagner spewed slurs at an officer who seized his dogs. He was sentenced to jail for a hate crime.

A sign in front of the AquaSox front office references the upcoming Everett City Council vote on a sum of $1.1 million to give to outside contractors to help upgrade a new stadium on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett AquaSox stadium upgrade gets $1.1M green light from city

City officials want to keep the team in Everett. But will they play in a new stadium downtown in 2027? Or an updated Funko Field?

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.