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Some Highland residents are taking too much to the streets

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HIGHLAND — Some residents who are taking it to the streets for parties are getting a little carried away, the Town Council thinks, so it's revising the rules for residential block parties.

A request for the update came from Police Chief Pete Hojnicki.

"We've had people that kind of go beyond what we expected them to," Hojnicki said.

Some people are completely blocking off their streets with tents and placing inflatable bounce houses on the road,

"We don't want a bouncy house and a tent across the road if a fire truck or an ambulance" are needed, Hojnicki said. "What we need is for the first responders — and also for the residents there — to be able to get through."

Thus, the updated ordinance requires paths of ingress and egress for emergency vehicles and bans bounce houses, water slides and other structures from the streets.

To get a permit, a majority of residents must state their support — or lack of objection — for the party at least one week before the event.

If any terms are violated, the permit can be revoked at any time.

"We kind of reaffirmed our position on public safety, just keeping movable tents and tables on one side of the road," Hojnicki said.

The ordinance also says block parties must end by 10:30 p.m., no alcohol can be served to minors and that some roads, due to unique circumstances, cannot be closed for the event.

If a block party plans amplified music, a permit is required from the clerk-treasurer whether the music is live or recorded.

Picnic tables, if needed, can be rented from the Parks Department and barricades can be provided by the Public Works Department if requested.

The permit holder will be responsible for placing and removing the barricades and must also do cleanup the same day of the event, including removal of the barricades.

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