LOS ANGELES (AP) — So-called “party houses” in the Hollywood Hills that feature red carpets, security guards and even wild animals are getting bigger and noisier, and neighbors and city officials have had enough.
The City Council voted last week to draft an ordinance beefing up laws targeting houses where gatherings attract hundreds of people who often pay a cover charge for entrance, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.
One recent party featured a lion, the newspaper said.
Neighbors complain about noise and say the houses have essentially become nightclubs. They say congestion poses safety risks on the narrow, winding roads in upscale Hollywood Hills neighborhoods.
“Oftentimes you would see this terrible traffic where an emergency vehicle couldn’t get through at all,” said George Skarpelos, vice president of the Hollywood United Neighborhood Council.
Danny Fitzgerald, whose four mansions have been rented out for huge — and controversial — bashes, said he’s changed his leases to now include strict rules: No amplified music outdoors. No parking. No posting to social media. Violators risk losing their security deposit.
“The problem LA has is clubs close too early,” Fitzgerald told the Times. “The people still want to party. They still want to go out.”
The new ordinance proposed by Councilman David Ryu would expand the definition of a nuisance, impose new fines, allow liens on problematic properties and temporarily prohibit the short-term rental of any property found to be in violation. The new law is expected to be written by early next year.
As for the lion, it appeared at one of the homes owned by Fitzgerald.
“He was in a cage. A circus cage. And he’s a movie star,” he said.