South Boston

Boston City Councilors Want Hefty Fines for Large House Parties: ‘People Have Had It'

“People are walking around with open containers, littering, urinating publicly. There’s been nudity and physical altercations,” longtime South Boston resident Ingrid Gerdes said.

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Neighbors in South Boston are fighting for peace and quiet after they say house parties are taking a toll on their quality of life. They say the problem is so out of control, some city leaders are proposing to increase the fines to try and stop the behavior.

After 11 years of living in South Boston, Ingrid Gerdes says she has had it with the constant noise and partying that happens in her neighborhood on the weekends.

“I’m almost embarrassed to say it, but I get anxiety now when the weekend comes along," Gerdes said. "Sometimes I even wish for rainy weather.”

Gerdes and her neighbors say the coronavirus pandemic has only made it worse. With restrictions on bars and nightclubs still closed, they say even more partying is happening on residential streets.

“People are walking around with open containers, littering, urinating publicly," Gerdes said. "There’s been nudity and physical altercations.”

“They’ll party inside the houses and they will go on to two, three, four o’clock in the morning,” Gerdes' neighbor Paul Ford added.

They have had several neighborhood meetings to try and address the issue, but Boston City Councilor Ed Flynn wants to take it a step further. He and City Councilor Michael Flaherty are calling for a hearing this week to discuss increasing fines for large house parties that disturb neighbors' quality of life.

Police in South Boston received 600 calls for disturbances during one recent weekend, they said, and the current threat of a $500 fine for violating pandemic protocols is not enough.

They are proposing fines as high as $1,000 for the first offense, $2,000 for the second, and $3,000 for the third.

Flynn also followed along with Boston Inspectional Services last weekend to give warnings to properties where they had received complaints.

“People have had it. They’re upset,” Flynn said. “With these fines, maybe people will get the hint that we mean business and you have to treat our neighbors fairly and with respect.”

Whether it is more enforcement or less parking for weekend visitors, neighbors just hope they can get some peace soon.

“We need to see immediate action that’s going to make a difference in the next two to three weeks," Ford said, "because summer is coming.”

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