Stricter noise ordinance to go into effect in SLO next week

A stricter city noise ordinance will take effect next week that will allow police officers to fine offenders up to $1,000 for multiple violations and hold property owners accountable for noise violations.

The San Luis Obispo City Council decided in January to toughen the city's noise ordinance, so police officers will be able to write more citations earlier to residents who keep their neighbors up at night.

Starting March 5 violators will only be eligible to receive one warning in a nine month period before they are issued a citation. The violator’s house will remain on the city's problematic "premises list" after a single noise violation for that nine month period.

First time violators of the ordinance will be allowed to apply for community service. A first time violation will trigger a $350 fine, $700 for a second violation and $1,000 for a third and subsequent violations.

On Feb. 2 the City Council also adopted an amendment to the ordinance that allows police officers to cite property owners who allow noise violations to repeatedly occur at their property.

The city is expected within the next few months to revisit the issue of more punishments for parties, when it considers strict rules for "unruly gatherings" that could include citing everyone who attends large out-of-control parties.

--AnnMarie Cornejo