Council approves 'Unruly Social Gathering' ordinance near University of Maryland, College Park

The vote is in. The College Park City Council has approved a crackdown on loud parties in the neighborhoods that surround the University of Maryland campus.  

In a meeting that stretched nearly four hours Tuesday, the controversial ordinance went through some amendments before the council passed it and dozens of students, landlords and neighbors spoke during the public comment periods.  

The new law clarifies the definition of an "unruly social gathering" as a party that includes eight or more people and involves underage drinking or a substantial disturbance of the peace.

Multiple infractions could lead to fines for party hosts and their landlords of up to $1,000 and after a third violation —the landlord could lose his/her rental license.   

Neighbors in favor of the new rules highlighted the fact that a similar ordinance at Towson University has led to a significant drop in noise violations over the past two years.