RANCHO CUCAMONGA >> When is a local haunted house more than a fun production put on for fellow neighbors?
City officials are grappling with that very question. In recent years, officials have received complaints about haunted houses creating excessive noise late into the night, traffic jams and excessive trash to residential parts of town.
Rancho Cucamonga’s Planning Department recently proposed the city council take measures to prohibit haunted houses from operating in residences to ensure all impacts to the public would be mitigated.
That doesn’t bode well for Mario Gonzalez who puts on his own home production.
“This has been in existence for a very long time and only now, when there were three complaints, they want to ban it?” he said at the Sept. 6 meeting, while referring to another operator. “I just think its overkill.”
The council agreed – to a certain extent.
Elected officials last week put off a vote that could have banned the haunts in residences and instead directed staff to further study the issue and come back at the beginning of next year with any new regulations.
“It would be ill-advised of us because we don’t have enough data,” said Councilwoman Diane Williams. “I agree this is a little overkill. Let it happen this year, observe it, and put the operators on notice.”
Williams and Mayor Dennis Michael said they preferred to allow it this year and have staff use this holiday as an opportunity to study the spaces and come up with clearer parameters for the regulations, such as how many people are allowed inside at a time and how many people can visit the house in a night before it’s considered a commercial use.
That was too late…
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