Buffer Zones

As a way to improve community safety, address encampments encroaching on City Rights of Way (ROW) and to mitigate negative activities in specific areas, City Council approved an ordinance in May 2023 that allows for the creation of service facility buffer zones (buffer zones). These buffer zone boundaries surround designated service locations or high-impact areas within the City of Everett which are adversely affected by the symptoms of homelessness and behavioral health or addiction issues. In order to protect businesses and neighbors and support individuals within buffer zones, the City's strategy includes enhanced social worker deployment to offer resources and services, focused enforcement and a rapid response to address encampments. 

In addition, to increase responsibility and to reduce the challenging effects that often accompany the distribution of goods or services, this ordinance requires any group, agency or individual to apply for a Right of Way Use permit to distribute goods or services within a buffer zone. 

Those interested in providing these types of services on public Right of Ways can apply for a permit here.

The service facility buffer zones ordinance is available here Version Options Buffer Zones Headline. To note, within a buffer zone:

  • City of Everett will provide outreach, services, and enforcement.
  • No person shall sit or lie down upon, or place a blanket, sleeping bag, backpack, chair, mattress, couch, stool, or any similar equipment, item, or furniture upon City property, whether improved or unimproved.
  • No person may provide on City property within a Service Facility Buffer Zone any food, beverages, goods, supplies or services of any sort to any person engaging in conduct prohibited by EMC 9.54.020, unless such provision is authorized by a valid right-of-way use permit or other applicable permit or permission issued by the department of public works or by other City department.

Current Buffer Zones include: (see maps below)

Buffer zones established July 26, 2023: 
2624 Rockefeller Ave
8530 Evergreen Way