Councilman Robert Holden introduced a bill on Wednesday, Nov. 10, that would crack down on illegal pop-up parties around the city.
The bill would amend the administrative code that deals with places of assembly. A failure to obtain a valid Place of Assembly Certificate of Operation from the Department of Buildings, specifically when selling beverages, would be considered a hazardous violation.
Failing to have security guards for a place of assembly would also be considered a hazardous violation.
“The bill I introduce today will help the city end illegal pop-up parties that affect our quality of life,” Holden said. “These parties are more than just a nuisance that increases noise in residential areas. Two shootings in my district were connected to event spaces that aren’t following city laws. Pop-up parties are increasingly a tinderbox for illegal activity.”
Holden has been working with local law enforcement to combat pop-up parties in his district. A vacant storefront, formerly the Midville Hardware store, has been a recurring location for these parties.
Holden said these parties are to blame for the increased crime in his district.
“Two shootings in my district were connected to event spaces that aren’t following city laws. Pop-up parties are increasingly a tinderbox for illegal activity,” Holden said. “We are aware of other pop-up party venues in the district, especially on Metropolitan Avenue and Myrtle Avenue, and are working to shut them down, as well. Residential areas are not appropriate locations for these fly-by-night events that intrude upon our quality of life. I will not allow this dangerous, disturbing, illegal activity to continue.”
Businesses that do not have a certificate of assembly will face penalties between $1,000 and $25,000 per hazardous violation. Holden crafted the bill to ensure the Department of Buildings is targeting illegal pop-up parties and not legitimate businesses.
“I urge my colleagues to sign onto this bill, and together, we can not only end illegal pop-parties but stop more serious crimes before they occur,” Holden said. “It has been very difficult so far for the city to shut these gatherings down because of the structure of existing law. This bill should help make it easier.”