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Should the city crack down on problem party houses?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on January 17, 2006

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Photo of Josie Colson

“Only when the parties are a danger to others or are truly disturbing the neighborhood.”

Photo of Kenny Dunn

“Yeah, if they’re bugging the neighbors. They have as much right to privacy as they have to party. I’ve been on both sides of the issue.”

Photo of Lindsey Kaufman

“No. Not unless it’s really a problem. We live on Tennessee in an eight person house, and we love having parties. On occasion we have a lot of people over, but we take care of the house and clean up after ourselves.”

Photo of Eric Bridges

“No. It’s a college town and party houses are going to come with the college atmosphere.”

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acousticcontrol 12 years, 3 months ago

ljreader- So would it have been OK if your friend was a partier? Guess what? People who chose not to have kids and/or to have a good time by drinking, smoking, etc. have the same rights as everyone else.

lunacydetector 12 years, 3 months ago

8 people living in a party house? i thought that was illegal.

beatrice 12 years, 3 months ago

Nothing says "college experience" like living in a crack house with seven other people! I remember that were it not for the support of my friends and their crack, I never would have gotten through botany.

The question is about "problem party houses." If it truly is a "problem," meaning they ignore warnings and continually disrupt a neighborhood, then yes, the city should crack down on it -- before they do become crack houses.

badger 12 years, 3 months ago

Well, if the neighbors call the cops, and the police go by, and there's forty-seven people on the porch and music that can be heard half a block away, then they're obviously doing something that is disturbing their neighbors and they should be stopped from doing that. Not everyone is a student, and some people have to work early on weekend mornings or mornings after games.

Even the people who are students deserve to be able to sleep. A friend in San Marcos ended up being faced with the choice to sleep at her boyfriend's three or four times a week or flunk out of grad school because the cops wouldn't make her neighbor stop playing loud music until dawn and she couldn't get her work done or sleep.

I know that my last lease in Lawrence (not in a party area) said that if the police were called for noise reasons and a complaint was issued, it could be a violation of my lease, and they could evict me for it. Some landlords take it seriously, I guess, and some don't.

I've been at parties where the cops showed up. They usually came up to the door, asked to speak to the owner of the house, were told he wasn't there, asked to speak to a resident, told the resident that he had to turn the volume down, and explained that if they got another complaint and had to come back they'd shut the party down and cite some people, maybe search the house and ID all the guests.

I think that if you get more than two noise complaints in 90 days, it needs to be a court appearance and you need to be doing some community service.

irnmadn88 12 years, 3 months ago

Hmmm...last time the rental next door to me had a party, a snot nosed twenty something extolling the protection of his father's Juris Doctorate claimed it was his right to piss on my house underneath the bedroom window...

I am OK for one party a month if the neighbors are informed, noise is contained to inside the house after midnight, and a promise is kept to clean up the refuse in the neighborhoood before 10am...if not, a phone call to end the next one is made promptly at 12:01am...

bankboy119 12 years, 3 months ago

People should be able to have parties but they can't disturb everyone else in the neighborhood. Like Badger said, some people, including students, have to work or study or just sleep.

glockenspiel 12 years, 3 months ago

There are certain streets that you don't live on unless you tolerate parties. If you can't get up for work the next morning because of the party on the other side of Tenessee, Kentucky, or Ohio...Then you didn't do your homework before you signed your lease (or bought your home).

badger 12 years, 3 months ago

Y'know, I've never called the cops on a neighbor's party if I hadn't gone over there first and said, "Hey, guys, it's really loud, and I have work/school/an exam in the morning, so could you keep it down a little?" Most times it worked and the volume went down a little, but sometimes I then had to call the cops, and the cops were more serious about shutting things down when I said, "I've asked them to be quiet, but the noise didn't stop."

There's a certain degree of tolerance I've got for "It's Friday night at the end of semester and we're having a party," or "It's Sunday and we just won a huge game," but large weekly parties or consistent partying on days when I need to get up get really old.

mom_of_three 12 years, 3 months ago

You can do research, but that doesn't mean a college student won't move in next door at anytime.

bearded_gnome 12 years, 3 months ago

how much difference will this really make if our lpd is already overstretched anyway?

our neighborhood had an obvious drughouse, not just a party house! we had a neighborhood petition signed and submitted to lpd, several of us calling, and almost every week lpd called to this house for drugs/disturbance, etc.
IT TOOK YEARS TO GET RID OF THIS! and it wasn't lpd that got them out! the landlord/scumlord decided to remodel the house and therefore the skuzz occupants were finally forced out (and there was great rejoicing in heaven and upon the earth!).
the new occupants seem better, so far. however, with that scumlord's history we all wonder!

yes, I hope greater enforcement means fewer problem/party houses; loving my neighbor does not mean I have to allow public drunkenness/trashing/extreme loud noise/ and outright crime.

and it doesn't need to be 47 people on the porch, 4.7 can sometimes make one wallop of a lot of noise/fight/disturbance.
4.7 you might ask, that would equal about 7 very drunk people.

badger 12 years, 3 months ago

OTTR, I've been on Illinois and able to hear the music from a house party three streets over. You can research all you want, but too &$#&% loud is too &$#&% loud.

And, just because you don't mind living in a neighborhood that has a few parties, that doesn't mean that you should have to deal with nightly screams, slamming doors, thumping bass, and very loud off-key singing of school songs until 4 am. Most times, parties in the neighborhood aren't an issue, but there really does need to be some recourse for when a house gets progressively worse and worse, and neither appeals from the neighbors or citations from the police department resolve the problem.

badger 12 years, 3 months ago

And, OTTR, I would say that if you've called the police on the same house eight or ten times in two months, then the no brainer is that calling the police isn't doing anything, and there need to be actual penalties with actual teeth.

Frankly, I'm all for coming down on the homeowners on this. Let them deal with their tenants' behaviour by levying progressively larger fines on the homeowner with each offense. Start small, like 50 or 75 dollars, and work up into the thousands.

I know some of the worst offenders are the houses where Mommy and Daddy bought Junior and Mitzi a house to 'rent' while they're in college. Let's see how they feel about it when the fourth noise violation carries a 5 or 6 hundred dollar price tag with the potential for a warrant attached, and how Joe Slumlord feels about 'letting kids be kids' when he's looking down the barrel of several thousand dollars of noise violation fines he's got to recover from tenants he never bothered to deal with beyond collecting the rent and making sure the holes in the roof weren't noticeable until the first big rainstorm.

I'm all about hefty fiscal penalties for repeat offenders, and community service if they can't pay them. 'Letting kids be kids' is fine for occasional issues, but this article is talking about (and some of the people here are talking about) houses where the parties happen weekly or more often, are a constant disturbance to the neighbors, and don't seem to respond to lpd requests to quiet down.

badger 12 years, 3 months ago

Well, duh, prospector, that's why you have 13 people in your coven!

It's so you don't have to have ritual at the same person's house more than once in every 90 day period and irritate the neighbors.

Certainly doesn't have any magical significance.

breeze 12 years, 3 months ago

It seems that our worst problems with parties always happened when the weather was just right for sleeping with the windows open. Until the screaming naked frat boys would ruin another fall or spring night.

LPD's approach was to ask the complaining neighbor (us) for our name, address, weight, height, driver's license number, etc. as if we were the bad guys. We didn't think much of LPD. But they go great guns at enforcing parking meter violations, yeah, catch those people who stayed 5 minutes beyond their paid time! Make 'em pay!

Linda Aikins 12 years, 3 months ago

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beatrice 12 years, 3 months ago

Come on Marion, I'm sure you weren't called a nut just last summer! ; )

River City Talk -- "international attention." Really? International?

Hong_Kong_Phooey 12 years, 3 months ago

I can understand both sides of the issue. Lawrence is a college town and, not surprisingly, college students like to party. I really don't feel bad for the perpetually complaining residents of the Oread neighborhood. You knew what you were getting into when you moved there. If you didn't, you didn't do enough research before buying your home. I dare say that students have been living in that area for longer than anyone here has been. However, if you have a neighbor that insists on blasting their music every night, or having lots of friends over every night, then you have a reason to complain.

It does seem as though every college student that is a regular pain in the arse has a mummy or daddy with a Juris Doctorate. Why do they think that their parents hard work entitles THEM to something? (Namely, acting like a total buffoon)

badger 12 years, 3 months ago

With regard to having the windows open:

A couple of years ago, a couple in the complex where I lived seemed to take a great deal of delight in having very loud afternoon interludes with their windows open.

After two straight weeks of the very predictable soundtrack, one afternoon I simply called out, "You know she's faking it, right?"

There was a moment of silence, and then the gentleman's voice recommended that I commit an anatomically impossible and legally dodgy act.

Another voice called from another part of the complex, "No, dude, seriously, everybody knows she's faking but you!"

There were no more disturbances.

avhjmlk 12 years, 3 months ago

badger, I can always trust you for a little dose of post-lunch humor. You're great! (Apparently your male neighbor wasn't...)

Linda Aikins 12 years, 3 months ago

Good stuff you all! I'm laughing like a Uranus probe! i.e., you're cracking me up!

I lived near an up-and-coming (but a ways to go) rock band who "practiced" on Friday nights. It was horrible.

Ceallach 12 years, 3 months ago

What? City commissioners are partying down at crack houses? Hmmm, now that would explain a lot of their decisions!

aja, I blame the parents. Parents, bless their hearts, think if they either purchase or rent a house in a nice quiet residential neighborhood, that will somehow calm down little Johnny or Janie. Meanwhile, John and Jane's friends see a great place to party without those pesky ID checks.

YES! If it is a "problem" party house, they should be made aware of other people's rights. We should be able to buy/rent a house/apartment anywhere in Lawrence and justifiably have expentation of our neighbors, even the young adult college kids, partying in compliance with city ordinances.

A house next door to me has been rented to college students for the past 14 years. During that time there has been 3 or 4 occasions when the neighbors called the police because the guests were creating a problem either in the street or on other people's property. The problems were not with the resident students, and I know that it is difficult for them to control everyone that shows up and certainly not when the inconsiderate ones are arriving or leaving. I would not consider this house a problem party house. If it became one, as a resident I would expect swift and lasting intervention by the city.

While I'm not opposed to folks partaking in interludes -- I do draw the line when they try to use my outer garage wall for stabilization!! ;);):P

avhjmlk 12 years, 3 months ago

Marion, why does your link take us directly to River City Talk? I thought you were going to "have a blast with it"?

bearded_gnome 12 years, 3 months ago

whoa, too funny, actually should read: she said "stabilization."

too damned funny oh celtic maid of might!

Linda Aikins 12 years, 3 months ago

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Ceallach 12 years, 3 months ago

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avhjmlk 12 years, 3 months ago

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YourItalianPrincess 12 years, 3 months ago

Hope everyone is having a great day.

College town without a party would seem strange. Theres a house down the street from me and they have parties all time. Mostly in the beginning of school, during basketball season and towards the end of school. They do get loud at times and I'm sure the neighbors have called the police on them. They aren't to bad I guess and its not all the time so their parties don't bother me.

I have a Halloween party for friends every year. I inform my neighbors and my landlord. My neighbors have come over and had a blast. My landlord is pretty cool and he doesn't care if I have friends over. I have even called the police one year because we had a DJ come to our party.

Have a great day everyone.

bearded_gnome 12 years, 3 months ago

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Ceallach 12 years, 3 months ago

gnome: You are being baaad today! Quit it! Would you now suggest that I peddle porn?? and through Marion's site at that! I would never consider such a thing!! Besides, I doubt if he pays his contributors . . . maybe I should contact the Spice network and let them do the set up, then I could be just another corporate mogul that let's others do the dirty work (pardon the pun) while I rake in the dough

And of course, I would never call the police about a party again :)

badger 12 years, 3 months ago

Just an aside:

You guys crack me the heck up.

Linda Aikins 12 years, 3 months ago

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bearded_gnome 12 years, 3 months ago

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sweetpeagj 12 years, 3 months ago

Do you realize that every time you respond to certain people (troll) they seem to get more ignorant with each response they post? As for the OTS question..I think if this is a place that is always being called on and complained about then steps should be taken. Most people are more than willing to turn it down if asked. I have never had to actually call the police to settle a few rowdy people down. For those that said to investigate before you buy or rent..that would be fine as long as nobody that likes to have parties moves into that area. You can not predict who your neighbors will be. You just hope that they give you some consideration when they have a party.

l_eustacy 12 years, 3 months ago

It's a college town: tolerance is sometimes needed.

Personally, I think there should be zero tolerance for posting fake links. I think those posters should be banned permanently.

l_eustacy 12 years, 3 months ago

23% removal rate (at this point). A new record!

We should throw a party!!!

bearded_gnome 12 years, 3 months ago

Weeeeellll, I've had my first post removed by the site staff! yippeee!... just wonder what did it? the phoney links?

OMG! today certainly was funny, but nobody will be able to read the best posts!

no, Ceallach, I'm not trying to get you into trouble. I just figger, if that's a "party" ya' got goin' on, ya' oughta share it. c'mon.

the site staff has been very busy today. you suppose it was, oh, the "probe" jokes? i dunno. seriously, would be nice to get a little explainer with so many posts burnt out.

Harry_Manback 12 years, 3 months ago

Don't live in a college town if you don't want to deal with young people and the parties they might have.

If this isn't an option, you know, Lawrence does have suburbs! Don't live so close to a college campus unless you can deal with students! It seems so simple to me...

Linda Endicott 12 years, 3 months ago

Gee and I thought the main reason for going to college was to get an education...guess I was wrong...I guess the main reason is to party...

Purell 12 years, 3 months ago

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bearded_gnome 12 years, 3 months ago

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