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Party problems: La Jolla Shores group hears ways to combat noise from neighbors

The La Jolla Shores Association meets Aug. 10 online.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

People who consistently disturb neighbors with loud parties can face large penalties in San Diego, the La Jolla Shores Association was told during its meeting Aug. 10.

Community Relations Officer Jessica Thrift of the San Diego Police Department’s Northern Division, which includes La Jolla, spoke about the Community Assistance Party Program, or CAPP.

“Although it sounds like we are trying to assist people with having parties, it’s actually the opposite,” said Thrift, the community’s assigned investigator for “CAPPing” a house.

CAPP is a partnership between the Police Department and local residents, she said. “Late-night parties [and] excessive noise coming from residents can be disruptive to all neighbors. [CAPP] looks at getting that under control.”

A house can be “CAPPed” after frequent complaints, resulting in “a zero-tolerance posture by officers responding to all future party calls,” according to the Police Department.

That means responding officers will no longer issue warnings or ask for voluntary compliance. Instead, they will issue citations, impound property and/or conduct sobriety checks.

Penalties can be imposed on the property owner.

“Typically, as a good neighbor, you would go to your neighbor’s house and say, ‘Hey, could you turn down the party? It’s a little loud, it’s late’ … and your great neighbors would do it. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen,” Thrift said.

To report a problem, residents can call the SDPD non-emergency number, (619) 531-2000, and ask for an officer to go to the residence to address the noise.

“When we respond, we would check to see if the noise is reasonable,” Thrift said.

Officers are trained to stand about 75 feet from the house to determine whether the noise is excessive, she said. If noise is heard from that distance, officers will knock and ask the occupants to turn down the sound.

“If there’s underage drinking specifically, then the house can automatically be CAPPed,” Thrift said.

Otherwise, first offenders will receive a verbal warning and nothing is documented, except “to show that we responded [and] who we spoke to.”

For a “complete raging party,” Thrift said, a first-response notice is issued, signifying a resident has been advised to end the party.

“Typically, the officers will stay and make sure the occupants of the party leave,” she said. They may impound loud stereo equipment, kegs or anything else necessary to support issuing the first-response notice.

Houses that are the subject of two notices within 60 days are CAPPed, she said.

If officers respond repeatedly to the same address within 24 hours, the occupants will receive a second-response notice, which comes with a $500 fine so they “understand that they’re wasting police resources,” Thrift said.

“One of the biggest problems we are finding with CAPPing homes is the vacation rentals,” since occupants of the houses transition weekly, restarting the process with a verbal warning, Thrift said.

“In those cases … I have to reach out to the property owner and I have to make them aware [of past warnings and violations],” she said. “If the house gets CAPPed, then any calls for service there will result in an administrative citation to the owner of the property as well as the occupants in or at the residence. That citation is $1,000.”

For more information, email Thrift at jthrift@pd.sandiego.gov.

Other LJSA news

Safety update: SDPD Lt. Rick Aguilar said the department is “continuing our overtime for traffic enforcement” on La Jolla Shores Drive and Torrey Pines Road.

Officers also are continuing to work on a series of La Jolla home burglaries attributed to a South American crime ring, he said.

Since January, the Northern Division has increased its presence in La Jolla, with officers patrolling on overtime and plainclothes officers also keeping watch.

“In the last month, we’ve had zero burglaries. We’re hoping to continue that trend,” Aguilar said.

He added that officers will work 12-hour shifts at La Jolla beaches over Labor Day weekend from Saturday, Sept. 3, through 7 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6.

San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Lt. Lonnie Stephens said about 400,000 people visited the beaches at La Jolla Shores in July.

Lifeguards there performed 9,000 preventive actions, including issuing warnings and moving people out of dangerous areas, Stephens said. They also performed 431 water rescues and about 100 medical assists.

Labor Day will be the final day of summer staffing, but the department will have additional staff through October to help enhance beach and water safety at La Jolla Shores, Stephens said.

Pedestrian markings: LJSA secretary Charlie Brown shared suggestions from community members to repaint faded street pedestrian crossings in The Shores around Kellogg Park.

“Half the striping is gone,” LJSA member Brian Earley said, showing a photo of faded lines at the intersection of Calle del Oro and El Paseo Grande.

Pedestrian striping has faded at the intersection of Calle del Oro and El Paseo Grande in La Jolla Shores.
(Courtesy of Brian Earley)

Brown said a request also was made to repaint the directives on the boardwalk walls about what’s allowed and not allowed there.

Another suggestion called for surveying and repainting illegal curb markings “that reduce legitimate parking spaces” in front of houses, he said.

LJSA President Janie Emerson said the discussion would be taken up in more depth at the group’s October meeting to form a list of requests to send to the La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Board.

Next meeting: The La Jolla Shores Association next meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14, likely online. Learn more at lajollashoresassociation.org.