You only need to thumb through a few pages of Hollywood Babylon to see that LA has long been home to some truly extravagant house parties, but on Wednesday, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved new rules meant to cut down on “loud or unruly” festivities.
“These are not barbecues or family gatherings,” said Councilmember David Ryu just before the vote. “These are parties that block streets with lions and giraffes.”
Ryu, who proposed the regulations two years ago, argued that raucous parties have become a “massive public safety hazard,” clogging residential streets and blocking access for emergency vehicles.
Here’s how the new rules will work:
- If house parties get rowdy enough that the police must break them up, homeowners will have to keep a violation notice posted on the front door for the next month.
- The city can issue fines for “loud or unruly” gatherings in which guests are blocking sidewalks, drinking in public, or doing other things that might disrupt the lives of neighbors or create safety concerns.
- Both the party host and the owner of the home can be fined, if they aren’t the same person. This is meant to discourage property owners from renting out houses specifically for parties.
- Fines start at $100 but can escalate all the way to $8,000 after repeated violations.
- The city attorney can also choose to prosecute violations criminally, with a misdemeanor charge—punishable by up to six months of jail time.
Only time will tell whether the restrictions will curb the kind of wild gatherings for which the Hollywood Hills and other areas have become known. But city officials say it’s time to find out.
“We’ve tried literally everything else that can be tried without success,” Councilmember Paul Koretz said Wednesday.