KEY POINTS

  • Water and power supplies will be cut off to homes conducting large gatherings
  • This decision will be in effect from Friday, Aug.7
  •  "This is life and death," says Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

Homeowners in Los Angeles who host house parties by violating the coronavirus-related safety measures will have their water and power supplies cut off.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the decision during a press conference Wednesday, Aug.5.

"By turning off that power, shutting off that water we feel we can close these places down, which usually are not one-time offenders but multiple-offenders," Garcetti said.

Even though the city has the authority to cut utilities on the first offense, it prefers to educate the citizens. Repeated offenders will face the consequences, the mayor said.

"Starting Friday night if the LAPD responds and verifies that a large gathering is occurring at the property and if we see these properties reoffending time and time again, they will provide notice and initiate the process to request the DWP shut off services within the next 48 hours," the mayor said.

"You're breaking the law," he said when a reporter questioned the constitutionality of shutting off utilities on private property.

Garcetti said his office is working along with the city attorney and he knows the city has the authority to take this action. "This is life and death," he added.

Law enforcement officers are having a hard time dealing with gatherings where hundreds of people are breaking the law, he said. Los Angeles has reported nearly 197,912 cases COVID-19 at the time of writing this article, as well as 4,825 fatalities.

The mayor’s announcement came hours after the City Councilman David Ryu introduced a motion to increase penalties for property owners violating public health orders by holding large house parties.

"Despite a pandemic that has killed thousands in Los Angeles, some homeowners are choosing to put everyone at risk by renting out their homes to massive house parties," Ryu said in a release. "This is irresponsible bordering on deadly, and it must be stopped."

"Whether it takes shutting off utilities or revoking their permits, we must do what it takes to shut these party houses down," he added.

The proposal comes days after a woman died and two were injured during a shooting that occurred at a large house party in the Beverly Crest neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said that his California city might not host large gatherings, such as sporting events and concerts, before 2021 Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Photo: AFP / Robyn Beck