Partying is getting out of control in college towns throughout the United States. Well, Towson, an unincorporated community in Baltimore County, Maryland is taking a different stance to solving this issue. The Towson University provides secondary education opportunities for Marylanders and outsiders. There are various rental properties located near the campus, housing students that have a tendency to throw parties that sometimes get out of hand.
Once such student is Justin Patrylow, a senior at Towson, who decided to invite a few friends over for a barbecue on a Friday evening. Patrylow admitted to playing music a bit louder than usual, but he and his friends did not think that Towson residents would mind. However, Patrylow was in for a rude awakening. The County Council cited the Allentown, New Jersey 21-year old for violating the Unruly Social Gatherings ordinance. He is facing fines up to $500 and 20 hours of community service.
The new ordinance is aimed to curtail the raucous off-campus parties of four or more attendees “conduct that disturbs the peace.” This will also include rental properties near the University of Mary, Baltimore, as well as Towson. Ventura County, California and Minneapolis adopted similar written laws in the past few years. Not only are tenants that obey the ordinance liable for fines, but the landlords may also be held accountable. On the first violation, the landlord will be let off the hook with a written warning. However, the second warning will come with a $500 fine and if the revelry persists, they may very well have their rental license revoked.
Residents, law enforcement, and school officials agree that the new ordinance is having a positive impact, with a 75 percent decline in complaint calls since thus far this year. So far, 16 citations have been issued to Towson students, with only one instance of a second complaint on an address. The university relations committee has also set up a campus hotline 410-704-LIFE, so neighbors can report disruptive and disorderly parties.
Students are avoiding being cited, because they do not want to pay the $500 fine or pick up trash. The second offense is $1,000, which is something that Patrylow is not willing to risk.