Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a plan to deter these violators on Wednesday, saying he has authorized the Department of Water and Power to shut off utilities to homes that host large gatherings, which are already prohibited under coronavirus restrictions.
“While we have already closed all bars and nightclubs, these large house parties have essentially become nightclubs in the hills,” Garcetti said during a press conference, according to reports from Deadline.
He went on to explain that once the LAPD verifies repeated violations committed at a home, the residents’ water and power will be cut off within the next 48 hours. He also said county health inspectors and other city representatives will keep an eye out for large gatherings at city homes and will report potential violations to law enforcement.
“We will not act lightly, but we will act,” Mayor Garcetti said, before being questioned about the legality of this move. “You’re breaking the law. Just as we can shut down bars breaking alcohol laws, in places that are in criminal violations, we can shut them down … We can actually do the power or water shutoff after a first violation, but we like to educate, not enforce.”
This announcement geared toward repeat offenders came only a few hours after LA City Councilman David Ryu introduced a motion that threatened harsher penalties against homeowners who violate the large gathering ordinance.
It really seems like a new house party has been going viral in Los Angeles every day for the past couple of weeks. Hopefully, this serious consequence will actually deter those who just don’t care about the health of themselves or others.