Council to Vote on Social Host Ordinance

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EUGENE, Ore. — Eugene Police and some city leaders say large, alcohol fueled parties near the University of Oregon have gotten out of hand.

One option that could help crack down campus partying is the Social Host Ordinance, which the Eugene City Council could pass on Monday night.

The ordinance would hold those who host large, unruly gatherings accountable for a having a party if six or more people are in attendance where two or more offenses took place, and fine them up to $1,000.

Offenses include noise complaints, public intoxication, disorderly conduct and more.

Critics of the proposed ordinance say the fines are too high, and they reference laws already in place as working fine.

Eugene Police say it’s a scenario that has increased over the years. City leaders say from 2006 to 2010, alcohol-related violations near the UO have gone up by 55 percent.

One aspect of the ordinance states that if a host were to call police to break up an unruly party, they could get out of the potentially hefty fines.

The Eugene City Council plans to vote on the ordinance Monday, Jan. 28 at 7:30 p.m. at Harris Hall.



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  1. Dejaine Chase says:

    Some college students believe they have a ‘right’, even a duty, to party as hard as they want. It is time for society to remind them they should also be learning to live compatibly with all others. If it takes hefty fines to help teach that lesson, so be it. People also complain about late fees on movie rentals, but there is a simple fix: don’t bring them back late. Likewise, the way to avoid a fine for a loud party is to keep your guests from disturbing others.

  2. Ron says:

    Forget the fines..expell the morons. There are many, many law abiding kids who would love to take their place.

  3. Randy Cain says:


    Are you (KEZI) talking about this version of Ord.20504? INITIATIVE TO REPEAL ORDINANCE 20504
    Caption: Repeal of City Ordinance on Unruly Gatherings
    Question: Shall voters repeal City ordinance imposing penalties for unruly gatherings?
    Summary: Measure would repeal city ordinance, adopted in January, 2013, that imposes penalties for
    “unruly gatherings.” Main provisions of current ordinance are:
    ‐‐ “Unruly gathering” is one where alcohol is served and two or more of the following
    offenses occur: assault, menacing, harassment, intimidation, disorderly conduct, noise
    disturbance, criminal mischief, public urination or defecation, littering, and violation of any law
    pertaining to the sale, service, consumption or possession of alcohol.
    ‐‐ Person who hosts or organizes an unruly gathering is subject to fine up to $1000,
    and/or community service; municipal judge decides penalty.
    ‐‐ Person who violates the ordinance more than once in twelve months may be required
    to pay the costs of police and other public safety response to the unruly gathering.
    ‐‐ Also, after fourth violation on same property within twelve months, property owner
    may also be required to pay the costs of police and public safety response.
    “Yes” vote is to repeal ordinance described above. “No” vote is to keep current ordinance.
    SECTIONS 4.990 AND 4.996 OF THAT CODE.
    The Citizens of Eugene find as follows:
    A. The ordinance concerning unruly gatherings is a discriminatory ordinance targeted specifically
    at student residents.
    B. Existing city code covers the violations the ordinance enumerates, and the measure creates a
    harsher penalty for students that could result in academic hardship.
    Section 1. Sections 4.670 and 4.672 of the Eugene Code, 1971, are removed as
    Morals and Public Conduct
    4.670 Unruly Gatherings- Definitions. As used in sections 4.672, 4.990(1), and
    4.996(5) and (6) of this code, the following words and phrases mean:
    Alcoholic liquor. An alcoholic beverage containing more than one-half of one
    percent of alcohol by volume.
    Host. To invite or to receive persons to a social gathering on property of which one
    has control as owner, lessee, tenant or licensee.
    Organize. To encourage attendance (at an unruly gathering).
    Response costs. The costs associated with responses by law enforcement, fire
    and other emergency response providers to unruly gatherings, including but not
    limited to:
    (a) Salaries and benefits of law enforcement, fire or other emergency response
    personnel for the amount of time spent responding to, remaining at, or otherwise dealing with
    unruly gatherings, and the administrative costs attributable to such response(s);
    (b) The cost of any medical treatment to or for any law enforcement, fire or other
    emergency response personnel injured while responding to, remaining at or
    leaving the scene of an unruly gathering. RECEIVED
    MAR 13 2013
    (c) The cost of repairing any city equipment or property damaged, and the cost of
    the use of any such equipment, in responding to, remaining at or leaving the
    scene of an unruly gathering.
    Juvenile. Any person under eighteen years of age.
    Minor. Any person under twenty-one years of age.
    Unruly gathering. A party or gathering where alcohol is served or consumed, and
    where any two or more of the following behaviors occur on the property where the
    gathering takes place or on adjacent property:
    (a) Any violation of state or city of Eugene laws relating to the sale, service,
    possession or consumption of alcoholic liquor;
    (b) Assault, as defined in section 4. 729 of this code;
    (c) Menacing, as defined in section 4.730 of this code;
    (d) Harassment, as defined in section 4. 726 of this code;
    (e) Intimidation, as defined in section 4.731 of this code;
    (f) Disorderly conduct, as defined in section 4. 725 of this code;
    (g) Noise disturbance, as defined in sections 4.080 – 4.084 of this code;
    (h) Criminal mischief, as defined in sections 4. 780 and 4. 782 of this code;
    (i) Public urination or defecation, as defined in section 4. 770 of this code; and
    U) Littering, as defined in section 6.805 of this code, by a person who attended
    the party or gathering.
    Owner. The person or entity listed as the owner in the Lane County property tax
    (a) Any dwelling unit or group of dwelling units at a single street number address,
    including but not limited to a house, duplex, triplex, apartment(s), condominium(s) or other
    structure(s) with one or more dwelling units, hotel or motel room(s);
    (b) A hall, meeting room or other structure that serves as a gathering place;
    (c) Any private real property adjacent to, and under the same ownership as, the
    location of a structure described in section (a) or (b) of this definition;
    (d) Public right-of-way.
    “Property” does not include a restaurant, bar or tavern.
    Twelve-month period. The twelve months immediately preceding the most recent
    4.672 Unruly Gatherings- Provisions.
    (1) No person shall organize or host an unruly gathering if the person knows or
    reasonably should know that it is an unruly gathering.
    (2) It is an affirmative defense to a citation issued for a violation of subsection (1)
    of this section that the person who organized or hosted an unruly gathering
    contacted the police as soon as any of the violations or offenses listed in the
    definition of “unruly gathering” occurred.
    (3) A person who violates subsection (1) of this section shall be subject to a fine
    prescribed by subsection (1) of section 4.990 of this code. In addition, a
    person who is convicted of violating subsection (1) of this section for a second
    time, and for any additional time, within a twelve-month period shall pay an
    administrative civil penalty in the amount of response costs, regardless of
    whether the offense occurred at the same or a different property, as provided
    in subsection (5) of section 4.996 of this code.
    (4) If an unruly gathering occurs at the same private property more than three
    times in a twelve-month period, the owner of the property shall be liable for
    response costs for the fourth and any subsequent occurrence that occurs
    within a twelve-month period of three other occurrences at the same property.
    (5) After an unruly gathering occurs at a private property, and after any future
    occurrence of an unruly gathering at the same property, city staff will notify the
    owner(s) of the property. The notice shall include a copy of this ordinance and
    a description of the owner’s potential liability for response costs under
    subsection (4) of this section.
    (6) If a juvenile violates subsection (1) of this section or is the owner of the
    property and the juvenile is or, but for the juvenile’s age would be, responsible
    for payment of response costs under this section, the person’s parent(s) or
    legal guardian(s) are responsible for response costs.
    (7) Financial liability under this section is joint and several.
    (8) Appeals.
    (a) If a civil penalty is imposed upon a property owner as provided in
    subsection (4) of this section and subsection (6) of section 4.996 of this
    code, the property owner or owner’s agent may appeal the
    determination that a violation occurred or amount of the penalty to the
    city manager in accordance with section 2.021 of this code.
    (b) In an appeal under this section, when determining to what extent, if any,
    the owner should be responsible for response costs, the city manager
    shall consider evidence of the following actions on the part of the
    property owner to prevent or abate the nuisance, even if unsuccessful:
    1. On the first occurrence of an unruly gathering, the owner or
    owner’s agent issued a written warning to the residents of the
    dwelling unit where the unruly gathering occurred that future
    violations may result in initiation of eviction proceedings.
    2. On the second occurrence of an unruly gathering at the same
    dwelling unit, the owner or owner’s agent issued a written notice
    that termination of the rental agreement will be initiated for the
    tenant(s) responsible for any future unruly gatherings.
    3. On the third occurrence of an unruly gathering at the same
    dwelling unit, the owner or owner’s agent initiated eviction
    proceedings against the tenant(s) responsible for the unruly
    4. Prior to the fourth occurrence of an unruly gathering, new tenants
    replaced those who committed the previous violations, and the
    owner or owner’s agent implemented reasonable precautions to
    deter or prevent any additional unruly gatherings.
    (c) In an appeal by an owner of property where ten or more dwelling units
    are located, if no more than two of the violations occurred at the same
    dwelling unit, the city manager shall consider, in addition to the factors
    listed in subsection (8)(b) of this section, whether the owner or owner’s
    agent implemented other measures to prevent or discourage unruly
    gatherings. Such measures may include, but are not limited to,
    employing a resident manager, providing a local agent who is
    accessible to tenants at all times for emergencies, hiring on-sire
    security, and including behavioral standards in the rental agreement.
    Section 2. Section 4.775 of the Eugene Code, 1971, is once again added to the city code. The
    language will be the previous language before ORDINANCE NO. 20!504 went into effect.
    Section 3. Subsection ( 1) of Section 4. 990 of the Eugene Code, 1971, is amended by
    removing the following entry in numerical order to the list of penalties as follows:
    4.990 Penalties- Specific.
    (1) Violation of the following sections is punishable by fine or confinement in jail,
    or both, up to the amounts indicated opposite each. In addition, the court may
    order any treatment, related to the violation, deemed necessary for
    rehabilitation of the offender and the safety of the community.
    Section Penalty
    4.672(1) Fine not to exceed $1 ,000, or community service as
    determined by the court (which may include
    restorative justice), or both.
    Section 4. Subsections (5) and (6) of Section 4.996 of the Eugene Code, 1971, are
    removed as follows:
    4.996 Administrative Civil Penalty.
    (5) Second and subsequent violations of subsection (1) of section 4.672 of this
    code within a twelve-month period are subject to the imposition of response
    costs as defined in section 4.670 of this code.
    (6) Upon fourth and any subsequent violation of subsection (1) of section 4.672 of
    this code within a twelve-month period, at a property as defined in section
    4.670 of this code, the owner of the property is subject to the imposition of
    response costs as defined in section 4.670 of this code.

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