Everett takes second look at allowing second-hand shops

EVERETT — Everett city leaders are preparing to make a decision that would again allow antiques shops along a portion of Hewitt Avenue.

In 2006, the city designated sections of Hewitt, Colby, Wetmore and Rockefeller avenues as “retail streets” and limited the types of businesses that could set up shop in street-level storefronts.

The intent was to encourage businesses that would attract window-shoppers in Everett’s high-profile streets. That meant, for instance, no second-hand stores, tattoo parlors, pawn shops or food banks.

Then property owners complained the restrictions were making it more difficult to fill empty storefronts in a recession. And then there was this issue: Should a classy antiques or vintage shop be treated the same as a thrift store?

The matter has bubbled up to the City Council for a decision. The recommendation so far is this: The city should allow antiques shops, antiques malls and certain other limited second-hand shops to again operate along six blocks of Hewitt.

They would still be banned on the other streets mentioned above and they also would be banned from a two-block area near where Hewitt intersects with Colby Avenue. The thinking is that a second-hand shop shouldn’t be so close to an area populated with financial institutions.

A public hearing is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the council chambers at 3002 Wetmore Ave.

Debra Smith: 425-339-3197, dsmith@heraldnet.com

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