South Portland looks to crack down on disorderly houses

Posted Sept. 27, 2011, at 6:40 a.m.
Last modified Sept. 27, 2011, at 11:48 a.m.

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — Officials in South Portland want to give police a way to protect neighborhood tranquility by enacting a disorderly house ordinance.

The proposal would grant property owners three chances to curb loud music, rowdy parties, drunken behavior or abusive language generated by tenants before being subject to fines and legal proceedings.

The proposal is modeled after similar ordinances in Westbrook, Biddeford and Portland.

Orono, where the University of Maine is located, also has a similar ordinance.

The City Council gave preliminary approval to the proposal earlier this month after several residents complained about two houses.

The Portland Press Herald said a disorderly house is defined as any building with five or fewer apartment units that the police have visited three or more times within a 30-day period.

Police Chief Edward Googins says 16 addresses could now trigger the ordinance.