Germek: Nuisance parties and unlawful gathering ordinance

I attended the public meeting on Aug. 7 about the nuisance parties and unlawful gathering ordinance.

We heard horrendous stories from residents about abuse and harassment from noisemakers and other non-residents partying and trashing their neighborhoods. Even communities with HOAs have been penetrated due to a lack of strong enforcement of CC&Rs.

AJ Germek

However, our city representatives, with the exception of the police representative, demonstrated by their comments why this epidemic of more than 4,000 party houses and short-term rentals are out of control in Scottsdale.

The planning and development area director seemed mystified as to how to handle noise, trash, harassment and illegal occupancy other than promising to “look into it.” The assistant city attorney was quick to point out limitations in enforcing laws and ordinances but could offer no ideas as to how to stop this unfortunate behavior other than suggesting that the citizens should “contact their state representatives.”

The communications liaison representative suggested sending emails to the planning director about problems. Apparently, the live testimony of a dozen residents and the affirmation of scores of meeting attendees was not clear enough to understand. Of course, the City Planning and City Attorney offices are closed on weekends when the most out-of-control parties and abuses occur so the residents could expect no timely help from these departments.

What about laws and ordinances about liter, unsanitary conditions, occupancy limitations, fire hazards, parking restrictions, warning signs, security cameras, multiple fines and fees, damage bonds, verification of home owner contact information for timely responses, property liens against violators and other strong, lawful means of restoring a peaceful living environment for our residents?

— AJ Germek, Scottsdale resident

Our city representatives seemed more well-versed in avoiding issues than confronting them. Will the city protect the right of its citizens to the “peaceful enjoyment” of their homes when they are subject to the abuse of drunken party-goers and the absent landlords?

My overwhelming impression was of a weak response on the part of our city representatives and a preference to avoid confrontation with party house owners and their drunken clientele, other than the police representative.

In my experience, if the government decides you are a problem, you have a problem. In Scottsdale, however, our city representatives seem to want the citizens to protect them.

Editor’s note: Mr. Germek is a Scottsdale resident

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