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Police issue warning over Glendale 'party house' that spurred law

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Glendale targets rental home once advertised online as an ideal place to party
Glendale home that inspired an anti-partying ordinance is the first to be targeted by the ordinance

A Glendale house that was repeatedly visited by police responding to reports of loud music and other disturbances, and which led the City Council to adopt an ordinance in response, has become the first property to trigger that new ordinance. 

The house at 1315 Norton Ave. made waves earlier this year after neighbors complained about loud music, fights and beer bottles littered in front of the residence, which was being advertised as “party central” on Airbnb.com and other online property rental sites, according to the Glendale News Press.

After city officials intervened, the property manager, Mikey Dardashti of Greenfield Properties, promised to stop renting the 4,000-square-foot house out for parties, but the rentals continued.

Earlier this month, on May 3 at 1:50 a.m., Glendale police responded to a complaint of loud music and partying at the residence in the typically quiet and affluent Glenwood neighborhood.

By the time the police arrived, the music had been turned down, said Glendale police spokesman Sgt. Tom Lorenz, but the response still prompted the new ordinance, which was approved in March and took effect late last month.

The people throwing the party had rented the house for 24 hours, Lorenz said.

Last week, the Police Department sent the property owner, Farhard Rafisiman of Los Angeles, a warning notice, the first punishment of the party ordinance. If police respond to more nuisance complaints in the future, Rafisiman would be fined $250 plus police service fees for the second response and up to $1,100 plus police service fees for a sixth response.

Police service fees include the hourly cost of the officers who respond to the complaint as well as any other expenses, such as helicopter use, Lorenz said.

Officers responded to six parties at the house between October 2013 and January, one of which involved a police helicopter shining a spotlight on the home.

If the fines go unpaid, the issue could be forwarded to the city attorney’s office, which as a last resort could issue a lien on the property, Lorenz said.

The three-bedroom, three-bathroom house is still advertised on Airbnb.com for $329 per night and a similar site, vrbo.com, for $329 to $450 per night. It is no longer called “party central” in the listings, but the advertisements do tout the property’s amenities, such as a pool and large gazebo, as perfect for “entertaining and/or dancing the night away!” Under “house rules” on the Airbnb.com listing, outdoor parties are not permitted after 10 p.m. unless pre-approved.

But Dardashti, president of Greenfield Properties, speaking on behalf of the owner, said he does not permit parties at all at the Norton Avenue home and thanked the police for responding to nuisance complaints.

“Greenfield Properties will continue to the best of our abilities to avoid parties on the premises,” he said Tuesday afternoon by phone. “We apologize for any inconvenience to the neighbors, but in some instances we cannot stop guests lying to us or defrauding us with wrong information about their stay.”

This isn’t the first time communities have clashed with Airbnb.com and other online rental sites. In Silver Lake, the popularity of Airbnb.com sparked heated Neighborhood Council meetings as some feared the prevalence of short-term rentals was negatively affecting their community atmosphere.

Although the party ordinance applies to all properties, not just short-term rentals, residents of Norton Avenue have requested new city rules to provide oversight of short-term rentals advertised online, but to no avail. 

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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