An Atlanta proposal would ban “party houses” in residential areas and better enforce rules around party houses, including one in Buckhead that’s plagued the community for the past 18 months, Councilman J.P. Matzigkeit said. (LOUIE FAVORITE / AJC FILE PHOTO)

Atlanta to crack down on ‘unruly party houses’

Loud, oversized parties that rattle residents in otherwise quiet neighborhoods are the target of new rules being considered by the Atlanta City Council.

The city plans to better regulate “party houses,” the large-scale events typically held in spacious residential homes where hundreds may pay a fee to attend. City officials say the events pose a public safety threat as well as a nuisance from the noise and traffic they generate.

Legislation presented at Monday’s City Council meeting would ban “party houses” in residential areas and better enforce rules around party houses, including one in Buckhead that’s plagued the community for the past 18 months, Councilman J.P. Matzigkeit said.

It is illegal to use a residence for commercial purposes, so by charging an entrance fee, the house parties are already illegal.

Matzigkeit, who represents District 8, which covers Buckhead, sponsored the ordinance after receiving multiple complaints about parties held on Garmon Road. 


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Neighbors had complained people at the home held parties at odd hours and used it for filming and holding wedding receptions, Matzigkeit said.

“(The owner) is using this home as a commercial business and doing that for profit,” Matzigkeit told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “This is a thing that the community has been fighting for years and again it is something that is illegal.”

“The proposed regulations are common-sense measures to ensure our neighborhoods are safe, friendly and livable for all who call Atlanta home,” Mayor Bottoms said in a statement. “This is about ensuring accountability for unlawful party and event planners who create nuisance and disorder in our communities.”

Residents online raised concerns they wouldn’t be able to host fundraising events at their homes. Matzigkeit said the city will make sure there is a process for residents “responsible and trying to do good by raising money for non-profits.”

The city plans to hold neighborhood meetings for input, officials said in a news release.

“I think this legislation is a starting point for where we will end up,” Matzigkeit said.


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