SLO County Roundup

San Luis Obispo

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 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.

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

— AnnMarie Cornejo

Paso Robles

The City Council on Tuesday adopted a schedule of water restrictions as part of the water conservation program.

Between May and September, landscape watering schedule restrictions will be imposed to avoid the community’s water demands exceeding what is available.

Some facilities will be eligible for exceptions to the watering schedule if the assigned days and hours interfered with the facilities’ purposes.

These facilities include campgrounds and RV parks, play areas open to the public and places with a newly planted landscape.

— Amy Dempsey

San Luis Obispo

The Arroyo Grande man accused of kidnapping a six-month old girl has pleaded not guilty to several charges in connection with the alleged incident on Feb. 9, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Peter T. Hewitt, 82, entered his plea of not guilty Thursday to allegations of kidnapping, child detention preventing rightful custody, child endangerment and resisting arrest.

Hewitt was arrested after allegedly grabbing the keys from a woman, who had been staying with him, and then driving away from the parking lot of a Grover Beach supermarket with her baby in his van.

The woman, 34-year-old Jennifer Kim, had been staying with Hewitt temporarily. They reportedly met at the Nipomo Community Presbyterian Church.

Police said they found the baby with Hewitt in his garage and returned her safely to her mother.

— Nick Wilson