City of San Luis Obispo residents that congregate and violate the shelter in place order may now face additional fines. 

The city council unanimously voted April 6 to establish a safety enhancement zone until the shelter at home order ends. 

As a result, fines are doubled for noise violations, underage drinking, public urination, possession of an open container of alcohol in public, possession of a dangerous or deadly weapon, or holding unruly gatherings, according to city code.

An unruly gathering is a gathering of 20 or more people on private property that disturbs the peace of the neighborhood and threatens the health and safety of attendees, nearby residents and those enforcing the law, according to city code

“Our goal is to discourage parties and just to have the public as a whole to maintain social distancing,” San Luis Obispo Police Captain Jeff Smith said. 

The shelter at home order went into effect March 19 and is reviewed every 14 days to evaluate the need to continue the order.

In addition to the safety enhancement zone, people who violate any aspect of the local emergency order to shelter at home can be fined up to $1000, according to City Attorney Christine Dietrick.

“[The order] is not for any particular segment of the community,” City Manager Derek Johnson said. “We want to … use a local tool that we already have in place to deal with social activities that we think, in this particular case, can be the catalyst and cause for the spread of COVID-19.” 

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