House parties that fill the Hollywood Hills with loud music late into the night, may soon be going silent.
These so-called “party houses” may soon face stricter penalties after the Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday approved a new ordinance that would fine residents thousands of dollars for hosting large-scale, complaint-generating parties.
The ordinance was drafted by the City Attorney’s Office in response to a motion introduced by Councilman David Ryu, whose Fourth District includes the Hollywood Hills, where many nuisance party houses have been reported.
“Let me be clear about what we are talking about here,” Ryu said before the council approved the revised ordinance on a unanimous vote. “These are not barbecues or family gatherings. These are large events, flyer parties often with a cover charge that bring hundreds of people, and most importantly, that are creating a massive public safety hazard.”
According to Ryu’s office, party houses are typically rented out for large-scale bashes, and a cover charge is often collected at the door. The parties typically create excessive noise and other headaches for neighbors, while also positing other dangers since they are often located in areas with narrow, winding roads with a high fire risk, according to the councilman.
Tom Allen, playing a character called Chad Kroeger, spoke against the ordinance at City Council’s meeting on Dec. 6. As a self-identified activist and “house party enthusiast,” Allen described how house parties had shaped his adolescence.
“Over the past week, I’ve been in a state of deep despair upon hearing the news that L.A is trying to outlaw house parties in the Hollywood Hills,” said Allen. He added that house parties were “the bedrock of [his] development as a young man,” ending his testimony with “house parties are the truth.”
The measure, which still needs to be signed by Mayor Eric Garcetti to become law, would widen the type of behavior that could result in a property owner or manager being fined or facing a criminal charge. The ordinance creates escalating fines up to $8,000 for repeat violators and requires a public posting for 30 days on homes found in violation.