New Halloween Ordinance Proposed for Beverly Hills

It may only be mid-September, but Halloween was on the City Council’s agenda this week. The council introduced an ordinance to create a 24-hour ban on the use of silly string, shaving cream and hair removal products by people under 21 during Halloween. Formal approval of the ordinance is scheduled for a Sept. 19 council meeting, allowing for the ordinance to go into effect on Oct. 20, in advance of the holiday. 

The council also postponed the planned appeals hearing for a 105-unit residential and retail complex located at 55 N. La Cienega Blvd. and set a date for an appeals hearing of an office building restoration located at 9884 S. Santa Monica Blvd.

The silly string, shaving cream and hair removal product ban was a recommendation from the Beverly Hills Police Department to ensure children, parents and residents all enjoy a safe Halloween.

As summarized in a staff report, the past two Halloweens have been marked by an escalation in the misuse of these products leading “to increased vandalism to property, personal injury to those engaged in the use of these products, and threats to the safety of non-participant bystanders.”

The ban will be in force from 6 a.m. on Oct. 31 to 6 a.m. on Nov. 1 on an annual basis. It will be enforced as part of BHPD’s standard Halloween deployment. Violations may be issued as misdemeanors, infractions or as a civil administrative action and will be determined based on the specific conditions and circumstances surrounding the violation.

Messaging and outreach about the new ban will be carried out in the Beverly Hills Unified School District and in areas that have historically been the site of product misuse.

The council also considered the appeals filed against two recently approved developments.

The appeal hearing of the 105-unit mixed use development at 55 N. La Cienega Blvd., often referred to as the Stinking Rose project, was scheduled to take place during

the Sept. 12 meeting. However, in light of a last-minute letter filed by the appellant’s attorneys, the hearing was postponed to the Nov. 7 council meeting.

The appeal was filed on July 5 by a group called Supporters Alliance for Environmental Responsibility (SAFER). This group is funded by the Southern California District Council of Laborers, which represents several regional construction worker unions.

Right before the appeal was scheduled to take place, SAFER’s attorney submitted a letter dated July 24 that listed additional noise complaints.

This last-minute development frustrated members of council, who interpreted it as an unfair tactic to delay the hearing. However, out of a desire to give both council members and the project developer time to review the additional complaints, the council voted to postpone the hearing.

“All of us had been well prepared to address this item tonight and we now find out about this new issue that was just brought up, even though there was plenty of time to bring it up,” said Councilmember Lili Bosse. “I am very, very angry.”

Council then set a Dec. 5 hearing date for an appeal of a restoration of the historic Darrow Office Building located at 9884 S. Santa Monica Blvd.

This project was approved by the Planning Commission on July 13. The appeal was filed by Michael Tenner on behalf of the Peninsula Hotel, which is located adjacent to the project site.