The Dunwoody City Council responded optimistically to possible new regulations regarding party houses in the city during a Dec. 13 meeting. 

“The aim is to regulate commercial events in residential homes,” said Senior Planner Madalyn Smith. “By commercial event, we mean any party or ceremony or reception where a fee is charged for the use of the dwelling and/or entry to the dwelling for the event.” 

The new regulations are similar to ones approved by Sandy Springs earlier this year and would ban commercial events or “party houses” in residential districts. Events held in commercial districts would require a special administrative permit, which includes a public notification period of 30 days and review from the Community Development director, according to a city memo. 

Smith said the amendment would not prevent homeowners or tenants from throwing non-commercial, private events in their own homes.  

Mayor Lynn Deutsch said after Sandy Springs initially adopted its party house regulations, the council wasn’t sure if the issue would affect Dunwoody. However in August, city code enforcement received complaints about parking and noise related to an event at 1539 Summerford Court, according to city spokesperson Jennifer Boettcher. 

“Staff realized there was a gap in the ordinance that created the issue, leading to the drafting of the proposed regulation,” Boettcher said in an email. 

Deutsch said while the city hasn’t had a huge problem with party houses, the city wanted to “send a message.”  Many council members had questions about what exactly the consequences would be for anyone who broke party house regulations and asked for more details on that before the item comes back before council. 

The amendment is expected to be heard again at the next council meeting. 

Sammie Purcell

Sammie Purcell is Associate Editor at Rough Draft Atlanta.