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Party House Crackdown: New L.A. Ordinance Targets Notorious Ragers in the Hills

It's no secret: An almost institutionalized circuit of L.A. house parties has long operated in the sprawling estates above Ventura and Hollywood Boulevards.

Druggy, boozy, Sheeny "privates" have become integral to city nightlife for a number of reasons --

Because L.A.'s mainstream club scene winds down by 2 a.m., and West Coast party people aren't about to let that exempt them from the Fun Capital USA race against New York Shitty; because Playboy bunnies need a place to shake their tail feathers (and soak up Grotto germs) until the break of dawn; and because, well, we V.I.P., bitch.

But the after-hours free-for-all, currently punished only by contestable "noise complaint" fines and "break it up" orders from the LAPD, is about to get doused in haterade.

Inspired by a brand new anti-party ordinance in Newport Beach, which allows police to charge people throwing loud parties in the "Jersey Shore of Orange County" up to $3,000 on the spot, L.A. City Attorney Carmen Trutanich and the LAPD have begun drafting similar rules for Los Angeles. (The Newport Beach ordinance also stipulates that attendees can be ticketed.)

The LA Daily News reports, to dorky effect:

By Friday afternoons, the weekend invites begin appearing on Twitter.

"Djing a private Pool Party in Hollywood Hills tomorrow....open bar all day #Craziness." Another tweet promises: "Hollywood Hills Mansion.....Donation $40. Ladies in Bikini 50% off."

By late Saturday night, Twitter followers are pinging back: "Ohh, where the parties at? Because the Tarzana party got shutdown."

As the party caravan seeks out the next bash, some homeowners are happy to oblige. Branded "party houses," by frustrated neighbors and fed-up police, these sprawling residences ... can be moneymakers for owners and havens for partygoers.

What's an ordinance? We have cupcake boobs!
What's an ordinance? We have cupcake boobs!
Lina Lecaro

Said owners and partygoers, and all those Angelenos keen on preserving the Hank Moody-vetted sparkly ecstasy paradise that our hometown is often perceived to be, can blame the new ordinance on neighborhood cranks, according to the Daily News.

The Hollywoodland Homeowners Association reportedly went so far as to form the "Party House Subcommittee" this July, and Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council members have been hounding the LAPD to pass harsher rules.

Seems as if L.A. baby boomers looking to spend their golden years nestled in the Valley and the Hollywood Hills -- formerly of a "sex, drugs, rock 'n' roll" mentality -- have officially turned into their parents.

The noise is worst in summer, one Beachwood Canyon blogger recently complained:

"Then there are the parties. There currently are four "party houses" in the upper Canyon -- houses rented to tenants who hold all-night parties. This number doesn't include houses, like the one around the corner from me, that are owned by people who party all night."

As the city's party profiteers are well aware, homes in the Hollywood Hills can be rented out to promoters and DJs for thousands of dollars, without the hassles of running a city-permitted nightclub.

The venerable Hugh Hefner, for his part, helms something of a rogue rave venue up in the Holmby Hills, where tickets to his booby-licious mansion parties can go for $1,000. (If you're a dude, that is!) As the as the Weekly reported in February of last year, these all-night ragers require no regulation, because they're held at a private residence.

Playboy Enterprises, which owns the property, has maintained that the often-corporate events at the mansion don't generate profit and always benefit charities. Following up on neighbors' complaints, the Los Angeles City Council inspected the property and declared that it was not, in fact, an illegal business.

Of course, most places in L.A. that feature superstar DJs, bartenders, and models and charge a lot for people to enter are, in fact, night clubs, and they often go through hoops to ensure the venues have proper permits, licenses and permissions. And few if any are in residential neighborhoods, nor would they be allowed to be. But like we said, this is L.A.

Now, with the L.A. City Attorney's Office on board, Trutanich continues to reinforce his reputation as stuffy old fun-killer. Trutanich has cracked down on graffiti artists, pot shops, non-violent protesters and Vegas-style billboards since taking office.

Next thing you know, we'll be living in a giant ghetto version of La Cañada Flintridge -- "Footloose" style.

[@simone_electra/swilson@laweekly.com]