Under the new zoning code changes, any party that requires guests to pay to attend will now require a temporary use permit. The new law is effective immediately.
Party houses where sometimes hundreds of guests pay to gather and socialize for hours at a large residence are an issue that city officials across metro Atlanta have tried to crack down on since 2019.
Sandy Springs police were sent to the Cameron Glen house for noise disturbances on four occasions during a three week period between May and June, according to Public Information Officer Sergeant Sal Ortega.
Citations were issued to owner Javier Rashan McIntosh for a noise disturbance call on Memorial Day, May 31. City spokesman Dan Coffer said code enforcement also issued citations to McIntosh June 1 for conducting commercial activity in a residential area and constructing a gate on the property without a permit.
McIntosh co-owns the home with Michael A. Revell II, according to the city. Both men are named in court documents the city filed seeking to shut down activities at the house.
When The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reached McIntosh via text Thursday, he declined to comment until he could be advised by his attorney.
Cameron Glen residents said they worry the city won’t be able to stop a party planned for Saturday and another on June 26 with tickets costing up to $600. The parties are advertised on several websites, some of which require a password to access.
Cameron Glen is a tree-filled neighborhood of million-dollar homes on sprawling lots of a half-acre and more. The Northside Drive party home is described on Realtor.com as a six-bedroom residence that sold for $1.3 million.
But neighbors described the party house as “awful,” and a “shocking intrusion” during the Tuesday City Council meeting.
Brenda Letzler, whose home is located behind the party house, said there have been three paid party events since April and two more are planned. One is planned this weekend in celebration of Juneteenth, and another on June 26, she said. Letzler said she found information on the party events through social media and other online sites.
Most guests coming to the house park elsewhere, neighbor James Dallas said, and are brought to the home on buses. The Memorial Day party that was shut down by police due to noise drew 250 people, he said.
An online concert and party calendar, Partyfixx.co, showed a Pirate-themed party planned at the house June 26 and offered a separate address for parking on Interstate Parkway North. That webpage was no longer accessible Thursday. Another site, Stayhappening.com, continued to display event information but the link for tickets priced from $5-$600 was inoperable Thursday.
Attorney Lee said sometimes party houses can be difficult for police to discern from other types of events that could be taking place such as a wedding reception or a large birthday party. And only a $1,000 maximum fine per charge can be imposed for party house events under state law, he said.
Lee said the city has advised owners McIntosh and Levell on what’s not allowed on the property but they don’t want to listen. “It continues to develop its advertising, its construction on the property to accommodate greater numbers of people ...,” Lee said of the home.
Lee said the city scheduled meetings with McIntosh for Monday and Thursday of this week but he didn’t show up. Lee added that he has not heard from McIntosh or Levell’s attorney.
Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul said the city’s new law is the first step in an ongoing process. Paul said he was concerned about police calls to houses escalating if party-goers who paid $600 to attend are unaware the event is unlawful and become irate when it is shut down.
“The goal is to find some way to prevent (the party) from happening in the first place,” Paul said. “We’re going to take a first step but it’s probably not going to be the last step ... Every time we find a preventive method, a counter method (by the party house) seems to pop up.”
With complaints about house parties on the rise, Sandy Springs has moved to increase penalties for hosts.
Anyone holding a party that requires paid admission in a residential neighborhood now faces a $1,000 fine.
A judge could impose up to six months in jail for subsequent violations.
Under new zoning code changes, any party that requires guests to pay to attend will now require a temporary use permit.