After fatal Granada Hills shooting, LA leaders crack down on party houses
The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday cracked down on party houses, unanimously voting to instruct the city attorney, with help from the Police Department, to draft an ordinance that regulates the often unruly gatherings held at local homes.
“The issue has become so acute that entire houses are being built for the purpose of hosting weekly parties,” said L.A. City Councilman David Ryu, whose 4th District includes Sherman Oaks, Toluca Lake and a portion of Van Nuys. “Further, the process has now become even easier, and thus more harmful, due to the rise of short-term rental platforms and the ease with which an individual can now rent a party house.”
So-called party houses are residential homes used or rented out frequently for parties and are a long-running problem in Los Angeles, according to officials.
Up-and-coming rapper Kid Cali, whose real name was Justin Lishey, was shot and killed in August during a pool party at a Granada Hills home.
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The LAPD Devonshire Division’s “Party Car” responded three times to the party house on Longacre Avenue after residents complained, said Los Angeles City Councilman Mitchell Englander at the time. His district includes the neighborhood where the killing occurred.
Parties like this one, at which organizers charge admission, are not legal in Los Angeles, he said at the time.
In the wake of the Granada Hills shooting, a clearly concerned Englander spoke out.
“The bottom line is we’ve got to get the word out that these will not be tolerated,” he said. “They don’t have the proper security, they don’t have the proper licenses, and residential neighborhoods are not the place for these types of gatherings.”
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They also pose serious public safety concerns for first responders and residents in the hillsides where parkland is adjacent to fire zones and the streets are narrow and windy, officials have said.
And the city’s current noise ordinance and tools do not provide LAPD enough enforcement to discourage future offenses, Ryu said.
“My goal is to protect the quality of life of our residential neighborhoods and to prioritize public safety,” Ryu said. “Egregious party houses represent only 1 percent of the homes in my hillside communities. However, we must provide LAPD more effective enforcement tools that will bring relief to the 99 percent of residents who are besieged by these inconsiderate neighbors. These new tools will save taxpayer dollars while streamlining enforcement.”
Ryu ‘s motion includes:
• Escalating fines for successive violations to both the party host and the property owner.
• Posting a public notice of violation on the property. This will notify the neighborhood that the property is under a violation period of a set number of days. Additional unruly parties will lead to higher fines or even criminal charges for excessive numbers of violations.
• Liens on properties for property owners who fail to pay fines.
• A prohibition on any home-sharing or short-term rental activity during a posted notice of violation period.