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Party's Over: City Council Wants To End Epic 'Party House' Ragers

This is not actually a house party, but we still feel like it captures the vibe. (Photo by Steven Dominguez via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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You know those epic Hollywood Hills ragers that you are never invited to? Well, you better hurry up and get on the list, because they may not be long for this world. On Wednesday, City Council voted unanimously to move forward on legislation that would crack down on the city's out-of-control house parties and "party houses."

The proposed ordinance, which was introduced by Councilman David Ryu, will now go to the City Attorney for drafting before eventually returning to the full Council for a final vote. Ryu represents much of Hollywood and its surrounding hills, so many of the complaints have been centered in his district. The issue, however, is by no means limited to the land of mid-century moderns with magical views, and any legislation would, of course, apply to the whole city.

As the original motion stated, party houses "are a long-running problem in Los Angeles," particularly in the city's hillside neighborhoods (read: the glamorous Hollywood Hills), where "large private homes are rented out...for the sole purpose of throwing parties." The motion also contends that the phenomenon has gotten so out of hand that entire houses are now "being built for the purpose of hosting weekly parties." Basically, the parties in question are far from your average invite-forty-friends-over-and-get-a-keg shindigs; they are massive productions, often put on by event companies and probably more akin to a night at the club than anything that's ever happened in your backyard.

We love a good party, but the public comment letters do make it seem like living on a party house street could be pretty awful. Neighbors complain about blaring music into the wee hours, drunk people peeing in their bushes and driveways, and the detritus of wild nights (cigarette butts, broken bottles, used condoms, drug paraphernalia) littering their streets in the mornings. And, because this is the Hollywood Hills, there are also complaints of valet parking and catering trucks blocking narrow hillside streets.

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In one our favorite public comment letters (honestly, you should read them all) a member of the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council wrote in to say that views of city lights from the tony homes in his Mount Olympus neighborhood "set the stage for an outrageous party scene." He also specifically called out his next door neighbor, former Shahs of Sunset cast member Sammy Younai for renting his house out on Airbnb as a "commercial party rental business."

So, how exactly does the city move beyond the threat of noise violation citations to actually crack down on over-the-top parties? Think escalating fines, potential liens on properties that fail to pay said fines, and a little public shaming. Yes, that's right, public shaming. If this legislation passes, party house violators will be tagged with a scarlet letter of sorts—violators will be required to post a public notice on violation (likely on their doors) that will "serve to notify the neighborhood that the property is under a violation period of a set number of days where addition[al] unruly parties will lead to higher fines or even criminal charges for excessive numbers of violations."

L.A.'s ordinance is modeled after one currently used in Newport Beach.

"The Councilmember isn't trying to deter people from gathering and having a party. This really is about the 1% of individuals who are not being good neighbors and are really besieging the 99% of residents—especially in the hillsides—so that's really what this is about," Estevan Montemayor, Councilman Ryu's communications director, told LAist.

In conclusion:

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