Bell Gardens

Loud late-night parties could cost their hosts up to $500 in fines under a new ordinance adopted by the Bell Gardens City Council. If the sound from radios, televisions, musical instruments and phonographs is "clearly audible" within 50 feet of a property line between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., the ordinance allows police to cite residents.

City Atty. Peter Wallin said first-time offenders will be fined $100, a second violation will cost $250, and third and successive violations will be $500 each. In the past, Wallin said the city could not prosecute violators unless a neighbor filed a formal complaint. But under the new noise ordinance police can now make a "judgment call" on the noise level and cite the offender without receiving a formal complaint. Council members adopted the ordinance because they had received a large number of complaints from residents about party noise in recent months.

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