A 45-day citywide moratorium on short-term vacation rentals has gone into effect in Glendora, two days after the city sued the owners of a mansion where a large party was held last Saturday despite concerns such events could be spreading grounds for the coronavirus.
The Glendora City Council unanimously voted Thursday to adopt the interim urgency ordinance, under which any violation over the next 45 days will be declared a public nuisance and be subject to penalties. It went into effect Friday.
“My colleagues and I take this matter seriously and have taken swift action as promised,” Glendora Mayor Michael Allawos said in a prepared statement. “We must balance the priority of public safety with the importance of responsible commerce in a solution that provides city staff the tools to safely and effectively reduce or control nuisances and law-breakers.”
City staff plan to “study appropriate modifications to the Municipal Code regulations to reduce and mitigate negative secondary effects, such as threats to public health and safety, created by short-term vacation rentals.”
The city will also seek reimbursement from the party promoter and the homeowner for nearly $18,000 in costs associated with the police and city staff response to the party held last Saturday at 1120 E. Sierra Madre Ave., officials said.
The party organizer also received multiple administrative citations for violating city municipal codes, and current health department orders, totaling $1,900 in fines, they said.
Glendora officials said the city plans to seek an emergency hearing Monday to ask a Los Angeles Superior Court judge to issue a temporary restraining order prohibiting further parties or other short-term rentals at the 20,000-square-foot residence.
The lawsuit filed by the city in Pomona Superior Court seeks to have the estate declared a public nuisance and a ban placed on short-term rentals there for up to two years.
“As news reports of the event showed, hundreds of people were packed into the property, with no observance of social distancing and no observance of mask wearing requirements,” the suit says.
Names as defendants are the owners, identified as Cao “Charles” Xin and Olivia Lei Zhao, and Davante Dajon Bell, listed in the complaint as a “self-employed event coordinator host/promoter” of such events as last Saturday’s “100 Summers Mansion Party.”
Bell has numerous social media accounts under the name “King Bell,” including @iamkingbell on Twitter and Instagram and Kingbellflight on Snapchat, according to the suit, which asks that Bell be prohibited from promoting, organizing, sponsoring or coordinating any gathering of any type in violation of the Glendora Municipal Code and applicable health orders.
The suit details 29 previous incidents at the mansion dating back to last Nov. 5, most of them involving complaints about loud music.
Xin and Zhao did not try and stop the party despite having the authority to do so under their short-term rental agreement, according to the suit, which alleges Bell ignored a police order to shut down the party.
The number of partygoers far outnumbered the number of officers, so backup help was obtained from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and Azusa Police Department, the suit states.