The San Luis Obispo City Council will hold a study session on Tuesday about loud partying and excessive drinking, at which police Chief Deborah Linden is expected to present a host of proposed ordinances designed to address such problems.
The study session was planned before her officers cited 95 people and arrested 30 on various charges in the 10 days leading up to the start of the new academic year at Cal Poly.
Cal Poly’s University Police Department issued 43 citations and made 42 arrests during the same period.
Linden suggests in her report that the city use the experiences of other college towns and consider instituting an 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew for those ages 17 and younger.
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She also suggests extending the city’s Safety Enhancement Zone Ordinance — once adopted to stop excessive Mardi Gras partying — for other times when young people celebrate heartily, including Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day and the start of academic quarters.
The zone allows for more citations to be issued to punish nudity and underage drinking.
“During the past few years ... staff has noticed a significant increase in problems surrounding Halloween and St. Patrick’s Day,” she wrote. She notes that there are long lines of people at the downtown bars on St. Patrick’s Day before they open.
And she noted, in a report written before the city put more officers on the street, that the beginning of the school year has presented law enforcement challenges.
The council is not being presented with actual ordinances to introduce, but is instead being asked for its opinions and presented with some ordinances used in other communities.
The study session is expected to be at least three hours long as staff asks council for guidance. Proposed ordinances would then come back to the council for consideration in January.
Other regulations she wants the council to consider include:
• An ordinance that would hold landlords much more accountable for excessive partying in their properties.
• Toughening the city’s noise ordinance so citations and fines can be issued more frequently than they are now.
• An ordinance designed to combat unruly gatherings that would allow an officer to declare gatherings a public nuisance and start abating the problem by issuing citations.
Linden is expecting resistance to the proposals, and has asked interested parties from Cal Poly, the student population, property owners and others in the community to attend the three-hour study session.