Colorado State University and the city of Fort Collins are expanding an innovative party registration program that began in the spring to address the issue of noise complaints.
The Pilot Party Noise Warning Program will be offered to all residents living within the Fort Collins city limits. The program, which began last April, involved only CSU students who registered their weekend parties at CSU’s Off-Campus Life office. The students received educational materials encouraging responsible party behavior.
Registration will be accepted for Friday and Saturday evening parties from Aug. 21 – Sept. 26 beginning Monday, Aug. 17. Hosts must register their party in person by 5 p.m. each Friday to be eligible. CSU students can register at the Off-Campus Life office, Room 195, Lory Student Center. All other residents are asked to register at the city’s Neighborhood Services Office, 281 N. College. Online and telephone registrations will not be accepted.
“There is a benefit to the party host and nearby residents,” said Melissa Emerson, community liaison for Colorado State University and the city of Fort Collins. “The host will receive a warning call to break up their party. It allows the host to be pro-active and adds another step before a ticket is issued. The program also benefits residents by reducing the time it takes to resolve noise issues. In general, loud parties quiet down much more quickly.”
Here’s how the program works: If a noise complaint is received by Fort Collins Police Services, the registered party host is contacted by phone and is given a “verbal” warning to breakup their party in a 20-minute time frame. If a second complaint is received after the 20-minute period, police will send an officer to the residence. If an officer is required to make personal contact with a registered home and determines the noise level is unreasonable, then fines that may be imposed would likely be higher. The warning process is related to noise complaints only. A noise complaint can result in a fine of up to $1,000 and is considered a criminal misdemeanor. If a residence receives a ticket, they will not be permitted to re-register their household again during this pilot phase.
“I am excited that we have an opportunity to launch the pilot citywide and am hopeful that all residents will take advantage of the service,” said Emerson. “Last spring, we had 76 student households utilize the party registration program and of those who responded to our survey, 100 percent of the party hosts said they would recommend this service to their friends. I also heard from numerous long-term residents in support of party registration because of the simple fact that it will reduce the amount of time it takes to quiet down a noisy party.”
Following the completion of the pilot program last spring, an assessment determined that due to a low number of noise complaints it would be beneficial to gather more information involving all city residents.
“The spring noise complaints have been declining over the years. In fact, when comparing spring 2004 to spring 2009, there has been a 45 percent reduction in noise and party calls,” said Beth Sowder, Neighborhood Services Manager for the city of Fort Collins. “Since fall noise complaints are typically higher, it was decided that offering a fall pilot program would help us better determine the impact of party registration.”
For more information, contact Melissa Emerson at Melissa.Emerson@colostate.edu or (970) 224-6047.