College Park to consider new law aimed at cracking down on 'unruly' parties

The City of College Park is considering legislation that would strengthen its nuisance ordinance and define unruly social gatherings in an effort to crack down on rowdy parties.

The legislation is only in draft version but is expected to be introduced at next week's county council meeting. In two weeks, there could be a public hearing.

It defines "unruly social gathering" as a party which includes four or more people and involves underage drinking or a "substantial disturbance of the peace and quiet enjoyment of private or public property."

The law calls for penalties for landlords beginning at a warning, but including a fine of up to $1,000 and ultimately suspension or revocation of a rental license for repeated infractions within a 24-month period. Party-goers causing the disturbance could also be subject to fines.

Kathy Bryant, a longtime College Park resident, says she's been working with the council on limits on loud parties for years.

"A lot of the people in these neighborhoods here work and they get up at 4 and 5 a.m. to go to work. And you can not go to work when you haven’t had any sleep," said Bryant.

Several students told FOX 5 loud parties should be expected in a college town, but some acknowledged the need for limits.

"If you’re bothered by the noise then just live somewhere else honestly. I mean it’s a College Park. What do you expect, so? That’s my opinion," said student Stephanie Olebara.

"I definitely think that we have some obligation to be respectful of those around us because I think that then teaches us and shows that we are being held to the University of Maryland standards," said student AJ Goldbloom.

The law could go into effect by October if passed.

University of Maryland, UMD