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Everett businessman says loiterers are scaring away customers, calls for no-sit, no-lie ordinance

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EVERETT — An Everett business owner says he is losing money because loiterers are harassing his customers.

The problem is so bad, he says, that he is now lobbying the Everett City Council to consider a no-sit, no-lie ordinance.

“We don’t have what is the traditional homeless problem,” business owner Gary Watts said.

Watts cannot look away even if he wanted to. Everyday from his office window at Z-Sport, he sees loitering and drug use.

“They are primarily drug addicts,” Watts said.

They even come inside his business to panhandle his workers and customers, he said.

“I am dealing with people who walk in my counter, my front counter, and say, 'Guys, can you help? Can you help me out with a few bucks,'” Watts said.

Watts is fed up and he made that clear to City Councilor Jeff Moore, who stopped by the intersection of 37th and Smith Aveue to check out the problem on Wednesday.

“It’s a health problem, it’s a safety problem, it’s a prostitution problem,” Watts said.

Moore hasn’t made up his mind but he's considering a no-sit, no-lie policy.

“I know that if that's not the solution, we need to keep moving to the right solution,” Moore said.

City Councilor Brenda Stonecipher says a blanket approach such as a no-sit, no-lie policy is a bad idea.

“You can’t just say it’s illegal to sit here anymore. We have to provide them new places for them to be and provide the outreach and support ,” Stonecipher said.

The closest support for the crowd on Smith Avenue is right next door at Everett Gospel Mission.

The shelter says these people are not sitting on the street because they have nowhere to go. The mission’s director told Q13 FOX News that she has invited many to use her shelter but they refuse. To her, this is not a homeless issue.

That's why Watts is so desperate for the city to step in. Until then, this block will be a magnet for 911 calls and trash pickups, he said.

“The feces and the food mess that is left there has attracted thousands of rats,” Watts said.

The Everett City Council was holding a 6:30 p.m. meeting. The issue is not on the agenda but Watts is planning to speak anyway. He said he wants all the City Council members to hear his side of the story.

So far this year, police have been called to the area more than 40 times. The 911 calls were mostly for trespassing, assault, and substance abuse.

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12 comments

  • Kittykat1912

    Ridiculous, I am 62 and have anemia. If I go out there are times I NEED to sit for a bit and catch my breath. I can now go to jail for this???????????

    • The Decider

      I’m pretty sure this wouldn’t be aimed at people who need a seat for a short rest. I’m sure its just for people hanging out for hours at a time. Don’t panhandle, loiter, or be gross and I’m sure you will be fine. But if you look dirty and sat outside my business smoking or doing drugs and littering and used the bathroom where you pleased, I’d probably want you detained. Don’t be worried unless you do the frowned upon things.

  • Just me

    I drive by this every day on the way to work and it gets worse every day
    These are not traditional homeless
    They are hard drug related types and the garbage that they throw all over is insane

    • Dev Lee

      So someone should put a fucking dumpster out there. Don’t make a new law. This country is already barren with a system of too many laws.

  • Frank

    The police could do something if they see drug deals going down. Just put an under cover car at the corner and watch for open drug use then radio a beat cop to come in and arrest the offending parties. Keep doing it untill they move along. The Gosple mission has offerd them a place so it isn’t a homeless problem it is a drug problem.

  • It's her body

    Do as Tacoma did…install boulders, gravel etc to get these losers out. They are kinda like wild life…don’t feed them or they will come back and please roll your windows up when driving through

  • Kit

    Seattle’s Pioneer Square is far worse! It looks like a third world country with bodies scattered everywhere. Who knows it they are alive or dead? We wish the bums could be moved away from the restaurants, galleries and stadiums. Kick them out.

  • tom

    they got video of people smoking meth down there did no one see that :37 seconds in to the video …… no sit no lie no meth.. no heroin .. thats the problem.

  • Rich

    My business is two blocks from this location. Today I was visited by the Everett Police precinct commander after a second letter to city hall outlining these exact same issues. After a few days of the area being cleared morning and evening tonight I counted almost 40 people sitting and sleeping on the sidewalk. Coupled with the huge garbage mess they create it’s not like they have readily available restrooms in the middle of the night.
    The biggest issues they have are heroin and meth and most of them have no concerns for anything except getting drugs. They also are denied access to the mission for those reasons and even when community resource agencies try to help them they reject it.

    • Shawn Herman-Gibson

      I’m so glad to finally meet someone who has the ability to mind read, and read someones past. Glad you aren’t using blanket statements, as blanket statement are always wrong. Hope you don’t end up in a bad economic situation (don’t worry You will).

  • AlfredoKHuber

    >>my buddy’s mother-in-law makes $74 an hour on the internet .>> She has been fired for 7 months but last month her check was $18572 just working on the internet for a few hours. read this post here>>>>>> Read More