News Flash Home
The original item was published from 10/14/2019 3:18:00 PM to 12/28/2019 12:00:02 AM.

News Flash


Posted on: September 27, 2019

[ARCHIVED] The Unruly Social Gathering Ordinance, Explained

Unruly Social Gatherings Ordinance Explained

Recently there’s been a lot of press and discussion about the Unruly Social Gathering Ordinance that was passed this week. To help clear up any confusion or incorrect information about the ordinance, here is an explanation of it with some FAQs.

On Tuesday, September 24, 2019 the City’s Mayor and Council adopted amendments to City Code Chapter 141, Nuisances, to address noise and other negative impacts of unruly social gatherings.   To read the ordinance, please click here

The purpose and intent of the Unruly Social Gathering Ordinance is to improve the quality of life and sense of safety for our residents.  If a party spills out into the street or into another neighbor’s property, that creates a safety concern and a negative impact on the neighborhood.  Or, if there is a gathering of inebriated individuals trespassing on neighbors’ yards or vandalizing their homes, that creates a health, safety and security concern for the neighborhood.  No one wants to live in a neighborhood where they feel unsafe, are consistently awakened at night, or have their property transgressed.  These situations do not characterize most of our neighborhoods and residents, but unfortunately some issues persist. The Unruly Social Gathering Ordinance is intended to help prevent these kinds of situations. 

Here is a quick FAQ about the Ordinance to help answer questions about the changes. 

Can I still host a party at my house?
Yes. The Ordinance does not prevent parties in City neighborhoods.  If you wish to host a gathering, make sure that your guests stay on your property, that underage and excessive drinking or the use of illegal substances is not occurring, that public or private property isn’t being trespassed or vandalized, and that the party doesn’t also violate the Noise Code.  By doing so, your party can continue without issue. 

If I’m hanging out with eight or more friends, is that considered an unruly social gathering?
No. You can hang out with friends and as long as you are abiding the law and not negatively impacting your neighbors, then you are in the clear. 

Why was this Ordinance passed?
For many years, the City’s Mayor and Council, student groups, and landlords have discussed various strategies to address noise and other negative impacts of unruly social gatherings. The recently amended Nuisance Ordinance and the long-standing Noise Ordinance work together to improve the quality of life and sense of safety for our community. 

In what circumstances would I get a violation?
Violations would be issued if…

  • the party has become unsafe with underage or excessive drinking, illegal substance use or health and safety violations, 
  • the party spills over onto the street or a neighbor’s property, or negatively impacts the neighborhood, 
  • party attendees are vandalizing, urinating, defecating or negatively impacting another’s home or property, 
  • or the noise level is above Noise Code limits (7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.: 65 dBA; 8:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.: 55 dBA).

What do the violations entail?
A violation of the Ordinance is subject to a municipal infraction and fine, with a warning given on first offense to property owners. 

                                 Responsible Party*    Owner
First Offense         $500                              Warning
Second Offense    $1000                            $500
Third Offense        $1000                            $500

*Responsible Party is defined as the same tenant(s).  If a new tenant(s) receives a citation, the offenses start over with $500 for the first offense.  

PDF Version
Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in News

Artboard 23

Movie Night Cancelled

Posted on: September 22, 2023

Candidates for the 2023 General Election

Posted on: September 21, 2023

General Election Advisory Question

Posted on: September 22, 2023
CP Day 2

College Park Day 2023

Posted on: June 27, 2023
Safety Meetings

Public Safety Community Meeting

Posted on: September 20, 2023
Suicide Prevention

Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

Posted on: September 13, 2023

Economic Development News

Posted on: September 7, 2023

Better Bag Ordinance

Posted on: July 31, 2023

City of College Park General Election

Posted on: September 13, 2023

Good Neighbor Day 2023

Posted on: September 12, 2023
Artboard 1

Full VEO Operations Resume

Posted on: August 10, 2023
College Park Connect App

College Park Connect App

Posted on: July 28, 2023
City Hall October 2021

Rhode Island Avenue Speed Cameras

Posted on: June 9, 2023
City Hall October 2021

Council Vacancy Applicants

Posted on: June 2, 2023

MDOT Bridge Repair Project

Posted on: May 30, 2023
Hollywood Farmers Market Strawberries

Hollywood Farmer's Market

Posted on: May 5, 2023

Better Bag Ordinance

Posted on: April 6, 2023
2023. Pepco College Park MD Pole Work FINAL 4 27 23

Pepco Pole Work

Posted on: April 27, 2023
State of the City 2023

State of the City 2023

Posted on: March 23, 2023
ARPA Mental Health

Mental Health Support

Posted on: March 7, 2023

November 2023 City Election

Posted on: February 22, 2023
College Park Age-Friendly Action Plan Poster

Livability Community Action Plan

Posted on: February 15, 2023
Winter Weather Alert-01

Winter Alert:

Posted on: December 14, 2022
Importance of Mental Health

Mental Health Reminders

Posted on: December 14, 2022
Meeting with Mayor Owens

Remembering Mayor Anna Owens

Posted on: December 14, 2022
Artboard 1

ARPA Mental Health Funds

Posted on: December 5, 2022
Pages from City of College Park Resident Guide - Fall 2022- FINAL_PRINT v3.pdf

Resident Guide Fall / Winter 2022

Posted on: November 1, 2022

Curbside Food Scrap Collection

Posted on: August 5, 2022

Redistricting 2022

Posted on: September 14, 2022

Animal Fosters

Posted on: August 26, 2022
College Park 2022 Fourth of July Parade 038

Fourth of July Parade Winners

Posted on: August 9, 2022

July 12 Storm Updates

Posted on: July 14, 2022

New Resident Reporting System

Posted on: July 1, 2022

Residential Parking Permits

Posted on: June 30, 2022

Protecting Our Tree Canopy

Posted on: June 3, 2022
COVID at-Home test kits


Posted on: February 3, 2022
ARPA Funding Awards

2021 ARPA Assistance Grants

Posted on: December 1, 2021

Celebrating Women's History Month

Posted on: March 23, 2022
State of the City 2022

State of the City

Posted on: March 22, 2022
Bulk Trash Tonnage Reduction

Bulk Trash Tonnage Reduced!

Posted on: February 11, 2022

Understanding Tax Assessments

Posted on: January 4, 2022
City Hall October 2021

New City Hall Opens December 6

Posted on: November 5, 2021
From Purple Line - Utility Relocation along Presidential Drive

Preliminary Sector Plan

Posted on: November 19, 2021
RESULTS Final of 110721 Election_Page_1

Final Election Results

Posted on: November 10, 2021