10:06 PM PDT, July 30, 2011
Newport Beach is making substantive progress on quality-of-life issues. The city has long struggled with how to balance the needs of long-term residents with those here for shorter stays, either in hotels, summer rentals, group homes or post-college crash pads.
Council members are beginning to show some teeth. We think that the city's Loud and Unruly Gathering ordinance is a necessary measure to protect the rights of residents to peacefully enjoy their homes. No one should have to endure their neighbors' noise for sustained periods of time, and the new law that allows police to fine those making life unbearable for others warrants recognition.
The argument that folks who choose to live on the Balboa Peninsula, West Newport and in other neighborhoods prone to partying shouldn't complain because the areas have always been loud is a canard. There's a difference between throwing back a few on your deck with friends and yelling over loud music in the middle of the night.
An occasional rager is no big deal, but those who repeatedly make life hell for their neighbors deserve the fines, which can stretch into the thousands for repeat violators.
Partying on the peninsula is a long-honored tradition but it should be done at reasonable hours and in mainly in reasonable places (bars and restaurants are preferred) and at hours — say no later than 10 p.m. in residential neighborhoods — that don't keep people who have to work in the morning up all night.
We'd never like to see the social fabric of the peninsula change. Yet we also believe that some of the party houses have taken things too far at the disadvantage of the majority of residents who like the atmosphere but who want to sleep to the sounds of crashing waves rather than thumping bass.