A proposal to fine party-throwers between $250 and $1,100 for hosting raucous events that prompt multiple police responses is just one step away from becoming law in Glendale after the City Council moved the suggested punishment forward this week with unanimous support.
The proposal from Glendale Police Chief Robert Castro will go before council members for final consideration next Tuesday.
It comes in response to a northwest Glendale house known as “party central.” Police had to shut down multiple festivities at the house, which was being rented out for events online, in the 1300 block of Norton Avenue.
“We faced a problem where there was unacceptable noise and obnoxious behavior being conducted at all hours,” said Councilman Ara Najarian after the Tuesday night council meeting. “Our hands were basically tied.”
Castro, who implemented a similar ordinance in Glendora, where he worked before coming to Glendale about three months ago, said the party fines provide relief to upset neighbors, but also give police the flexibility to consider waiving the fee.
For example, if a teenager throws a party while their parents are away for a weekend, their parents may get fined, but they could appeal the ticket to the Glendale Police Department, which may then waive the fee. But if the parties continue, the parents may have to pay up, Castro said.
“It is only a tool we use for problem locations and not at normal homes,” Castro added.
The fine system would begin with a written warning, but if officers return to a location because of a party within 12 hours to three months, the person who organized the party or in charge of the premises, could be slapped with a $250 fine, according to a city report.
The fine climbs to $500 for the third police response and $1,100 for the sixth.
Police responded to six parties at the 4,000-square-foot house on Norton Avenue between October 2013 and this past January, one of which involved a police helicopter shining a spotlight on the home.
A property management company agreed in January to stop renting what it described as an “entertainer’s outdoor paradise” on Airbnb.com, an online property rental site, for events after city officials got involved.
City officials met with the property management company representatives after nearby residents in the quiet, family-friendly Glenwood neighborhood complained about loud music, fighting and beer bottles in the streets at parties nearly every weekend.
“We don’t have a lot of problems like this in Glendale, but we did have one. Hopefully, this will give police the tools they need,” said Councilwoman Laura Friedman.
The fine system was introduced by the council on Tuesday, but it must be approved on a second reading next week before it can get on the books.
Pam Ellis, a neighbor who complained about “party central,” called the proposed ordinance a “good thing” adding that there are some neighbors who will inform others on the street of upcoming parties that take place every now and then.
“You just forgive them because you know it’s not going to happen every day,” Ellis said. “Hopefully, this [fine] will help a lot of different neighborhoods.”
As for the current state of “party central,” Ellis said the house is used for movie shoots and production vehicles crowd the street.