Rancho Mirage uses law to crack down on private partying, lawsuit says – Desert Sun | Wonder Mind Kids

Wendy Heckmann has hosted many gatherings for family and friends at her home in Rancho Mirage, from Thanksgiving meals to birthday parties, with no problem in her 22 years of living there.

But she says that all changed in February, when a city worker knocked on her door as she prepared to host a close friend’s wedding the next day.

The clerk asked for a venue permit for the wedding and then told her she would have to cancel the planned event or face thousands of dollars in fines.

Heckmann had no idea that she needed permission for a friend’s wedding. Since the wedding was taking place the next day, she decided to pay a $252 application fee to get special permission.

But she is now suing the city in federal court for using a large gatherings ordinance to regulate not only commercial events but parties in private homes.

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