Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti gave permission to the Department of Water and Power to shut off utilities to homes or businesses that host “large” parties.
If the LAPD confirms that a large gathering is taking place, they can now notify the property that water and power services may be shut off within 48 hours of the notice.
Garcetti added that while he does not condone any gatherings, the water and power stipulations will only apply to large parties where individuals “are determined to break the rules.”
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The mayor’s response came two days after a woman was shot and killed at an illegal Beverly Crest mansion party.
Multiple mansion parties have caught the attention of the city, as participants have been seen interacting without face coverings and not abiding by social distancing guidelines – another point that Garcetti condemned during his Wednesday press conference.
“These large house parties have essentially become night clubs for the hills,” Garcetti said. “By turning off that power, shutting off that water, we feel we can close these places down.”
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has stated multiple times that large in-person gatherings present the “highest risk” for exposure to the COVID-19 virus, and reiterated that point in a Wednesday health update.
“Gatherings of people from different households are such a bad idea,” Barbara Ferrer, Director of L.A. County Public Health, said. “We ask that everyone make good decisions. Don’t host parties and don’t attend a party if you’re invited.”
These parties also led Los Angeles City Councilman David Ryu to introduce a motion that would allow DWP, the Department of City Planning, the Department of Building Safety and the Housing and Community Investment department to work together in figuring out a way to deter large parties.
The motion also suggests incorporating fees for these parties in accordance with the property’s size and number of violations.
While the motion was presented before Garcetti spoke, Ryu also suggested that DWP be given authority to shut off the water and power of offending sites.
Garcetti later told FOX 11 that he believes he is acting under full legal power to proceed with the utility shutdowns at these party venues.