City moves to shut down La Jolla mansion parties during pandemic

Coronavirus

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The San Diego City Attorney’s Office filed a civil enforcement action Friday to shut down a La Jolla vacation rental property where several raucous parties — some of which drew up to 300 attendees — were allegedly hosted in violation of state and county public health orders.

The oceanfront mansion at 9660 Black Gold Road has been the subject of at least 30 calls to San Diego police, with around a dozen of those calls occurring during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the City Attorney’s Office, which said police have spent more than 173 hours investigating “nuisance activity” at the property.

“Thereโ€™s just no respect,” one neighbor said. “People come here for one night to party, trash it and leave.”

The civil action seeks civil penalties and a permanent injunction against property owners Mousa Hussain Mushkor and Zahra Ali Kasim, property manager Nital Meshkoor, and Steven S. Barbarich, who leased the property from Mushkor and subleased it as a short-term rental.

In addition to claims of maintaining a public nuisance, the City Attorney’s Office alleges the defendants are engaging in unfair competition, including false advertising.

“We want compliance. We want to make this neighborhood whole again and everyone to remain healthy during the pandemic,” City Attorney Mara Elliott said.

The seven-bedroom mansion is listed on Airbnb for nearly $900 a night, and touts a “safe, germ-free” environment with “superior cleaning,” though the City Attorney’s Office alleges inspectors found the property in squalid condition.

“Shutting down dangerous party houses protects the public health by preventing COVID super-spreader events and other illegal behavior,” Elliott said. “It’s unfortunate that San Diego does not have short-term rental regulations in place. Relief for this neighborhood would have come much sooner. Instead, we must rely on time-intensive prosecutions at significant taxpayer expense.”

Elliott’s office said that police were called to one party for a report of gunfire, during which partygoers told officers that shots were fired during a fight. Shell casings were found outside the mansion and a neighbor reported finding an additional casing the following day.

Other complaints to police included firearms at the property, assault, underage drinking and theft.

The mansion also allegedly featured a number of health and safety, building and fire code violations, including multiple electrical violations such as exposed and unprotected wiring, mosquito larvae in standing water, and excessive vegetation deemed a fire hazard.

In August, Elliott’s office shut down another “COVID party” rental. A 5-bedroom home on Second Avenue in Bankers Hill was listed on Airbnb for $800 a night.

Building code violations alleged by the City Attorney included a number of modifications made to the property without permits, including converting a garage into a second dwelling with a full kitchen and bathroom, installing an in-ground pool, jacuzzi, gas line and firepit, constructing two additional bathrooms, installing interior lighting circuits, electrical outlets, an HVAC system and water heaters and more.

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