On March 8, 2018, the Town Council of Paradise Valley adopted an Unruly Gatherings Ordinance (2018-05), aimed to deter house parties that disturb neighboring residences and that comprise the safety and welfare of the public. When the police respond to an Unruly Gathering it drains police resources and while the police are responding, it prevents them from securing other areas of town. The ordinance defines “Unruly Gathering” as “a gathering of five (5) or more persons on any private property, including property used to conduct business, in a manner which causes a disturbance of the quiet enjoyment of private or public property by any person or persons and also includes one of the following: excessive noise, impeding traffic, obstruction of public streets by crowds or vehicles, use or possession of illegal drugs, drinking in public areas, the service of alcohol to minors or consumption of alcohol by minors, fighting, disturbing the peace, and/or littering.”[1]


The Ordinance outlines processes for the police officers who respond to the disturbance to issue criminal citations for the Unruly Gathering, which will be a class 1 misdemeanor. If convicted, the first citation minimum penalty is $1,000. The penalties increase with additional violations.


Further, any Responsible Person[2] receiving a citation where two or more police officers have to break up an Unruly Gathering with eleven (11) or more persons, will also be assessed a Police Service Fee[3], which will be a reimbursement for the costs the police department incurred to respond to the Unruly Gathering. The costs include time for the police officers, dispatchers and vehicle equipment used.


Finally, the police will post a Notice on the Property stating the date that an Unruly Gathering occurred and warning that subsequent Unruly Gatherings within ninety (90) days will result in additional citations and fees. If a home is being rented through a short term rental website, such as Airbnb or HomeAway, the notice provides incoming renters with knowledge that an Unruly Gathering took place at the property within the past ninety (90) days.


It is our firm’s opinion that this Ordinance can be used offensively by homeowners associations in Paradise Valley to help deter and limit parties at properties where the homeowner frequently rents the home on a short-term basis and the renters are causing disturbances. This ordinance is a good tool to deter repeat offenders.


If your homeowners association is located in Paradise Valley and you are planning a community party or get-together, where there may be excessive noise or crowds/excessive vehicles, it is probably best to apply for a special event permit through the Town of Paradise Valley prior to the party. If you forget and the police respond to the event, please note, the ordinance provides an Owner of a property who has been cited with a first offense Unruly Gathering to apply for a special event permit retroactively. The Town Manager has the discretion to grant a special event permit retroactively.


[1] All information provided in this article was obtained on the Paradise Valley website and Town of Paradise Valley, AZ, Ordinance 2018-05 (March 8, 2018). (https://paradisevalleyaz.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=3362329&GUID=079F1245-C64B-43CB-8891-21B797CFCA06&Options=&Search=) (last visited March 21, 2018).

[2] “Responsible Person” means any person in attendance at an Unruly Gathering  including any Owner, occupant, tenant, or tenant’s guest or any sponsor, host or organizer of a social activity or special occasion constituting the Unruly Gathering, even if such person is not in attendance. If such a person is a Juvenile, the term “Responsible Person” includes, in addition to the Juvenile, the Juvenile’s parents or guardians. Responsible Person does not include Owners or persons in charge of Premises where an Unruly Gathering takes place if the persons in attendance obtained use of the Premises through illegal entry or trespassing. A person need not be present at the time of the party, gathering, or event to be deemed responsible.” (Ordinance Number 2018-05)

[3] “Police Service Fee” means the fee to reimburse the cost of services provided by the Police Department in response to the Unruly Gathering. The Police Service Fee is more fully defined in §10-13-7(C).