Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said on Wednesday that he is authorizing the city to shut off utility service to properties where large parties and gatherings are held, CBS Los Angeles reports. Garcetti said that, starting Friday, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power will cut off water and power service in “egregious” cases where unpermitted large parties and gatherings take place.
The announcement came hours after City Councilman David Ryu introduced a motion to increase penalties for property owners who hold large house parties in violation of public health orders. It wasn’t clear whether Garcetti’s announcement was related to that motion.
In the motion introduced Wednesday, Ryu said property owners who skirt building and safety rules or city laws, such as the Los Angeles party house ordinance, are in violation of and the city’s party house ordinance, which became law in 2018.
Under the proposal, penalties for large gatherings could include water and power shutoff, permit prohibitions and having a certificate of occupancy held or revoked for any “large, close-contact, largely maskless gatherings, in direct violation of City Emergency Orders and County Health Orders”.
“Despite a pandemic that has killed thousands in Los Angeles, some homeowners are choosing to put everyone at risk by renting out their homes to massive house parties,” Ryu said. “This is irresponsible bordering on deadly, and it must be stopped.”
“Whether it takes shutting off utilities or revoking their permits, we must do what it takes to shut these party houses down,” he added.
The proposal comes days after ain the Beverly Crest neighborhood of Los Angeles ended in a shooting that left one woman dead and two others hospitalized.
Police later said the killing was believed to be gang-related.
Any large and unruly gathering “which threatens or interferes with the public health, safety or welfare” is prohibited under the city’s party house ordinance.
That law includes increasing fines on both the party host and homeowner, as well as possible misdemeanor charges for repeat offenders.