A Maricopa County Superior Court judge ruled in favor of Mirabella at ASU, a 20-story apartment building for seniors, and several residents in a lawsuit filed against Shady Park Tempe, an EDM club popular on East University Drive, just off Mill Avenue.
The university opened the skyscraper at the end of December 2020 while the club was closed due to the pandemic.
Shady Park owner Scott Price has been programming music there since 2014.
“This is just devastating news,” Price said. “We strongly disagree with the findings and will appeal immediately.”
The decision will force Shady Park to immediately cease all live music operations, as the restrictions imposed prevent the venue from hosting live music events.
“If this bad decision is upheld, Shady Park will be forced to close its doors to so many of our friends, family and employees,” Price said. “That’s because show revenue is critical to our ability to pay for other business operations.”
Mirabella at ASU also released a statement, saying, “This decision brings relief to the residents of Mirabella and the surrounding community who have been harmed by excessive noise from Shady Park.”
Its residents are “an important part of Tempe’s vibrant and growing downtown community and enjoy its culture and energy, but simply want to enjoy their community without unreasonable disruption,” Mirabella said.
The statement added, “We hope the court’s decision leads to peaceful coexistence and the celebration of an inclusive and respectful community for all.”
Mirabella at ASU had requested a preliminary injunction against the site.
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The judge’s decision said the club had not done enough to limit the noise
In his ruling, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Brad Astrowsky noted that weeks after live music resumed at the club in May 2021, the City of Tempe sent Shady Park a notice of correction for violation of a condition of its user license – a ban on advance ticket sales.
Shady Park entered into an agreement with the city in which it agreed to build a canopy over part of its dance space if the city agreed to amend the use permit to allow Shady Park to sell tickets in advance.
Complaints from Mirabella residents resumed immediately after live music resumed in September 2021.
Astrowky’s decision suggests that the canopy was insufficient to contain the volume.
“Shady Park never consulted with an acoustical engineer or an acoustical consultant,” the ruling noted. “Furthermore, Shady Park has not performed any testing to determine the canopy’s effectiveness in containing sound.”
In her ruling, Astrowsky wrote that residents of Mirabella described the noise and bass coming from Shady Park Tempe — before and after the canopy — as “relentless” and “relentless,” complaining that the concerts get louder over time. of the night, reaching their strongest point after 1:00 a.m.
According to the decision, every resident on the north side of Mirabella, facing Shady Park, complained to Tom Dorough, executive director of Mirabella, about the concerts.
Three residents have moved. Others stayed in hotels, guest apartments in Mirabella or other towns over the weekend to avoid the Shady Park concerts.
“ASU power and influence” too much to overcome
Stephen Chilton, a local promoter who owns the Rebel Lounge in Phoenix, asks, “If college kids can’t have fun on Mill Avenue, where are college kids supposed to go?”
Astrowsky ruled that “contrary to the inference that Shady Park wanted the Court to accept, this is not a so-called ‘get off my lawn’ case.”
The ill effects of the Shady Parks gigs are not limited, its ruling noted, to elderly Mirabella residents, citing a 23-year-old ASU graduate student who complained of sleepless nights.
Price says his venue “worked hard to accommodate Mirabella and ASU, but it seems ASU’s power and influence was too great for us to overcome.”
Astrowsky ruled that Mirabella at ASU had “substantially demonstrated harm from the Shady Park concerts” while “the evidence establishes nothing more than speculative harm to Shady Park if he were to refuse his music or acoustically seal Shady Park with an enclosure.”
The lack of citations at Shady Park under Rule 20-11, Astrowsky said, does not mean there were no code violations.
“Evidence revealed the city was not interested in enforcing the Tempe code against Shady Park,” he wrote. “It is clear that there is a special or preferential relationship between the City and Shady Park compared to the relationship between the City and Mirabella.”
Price said, “We hope the justice system will correct this injustice and that our appeal will once again allow us to host live music and bring some joy and happiness to music fans across the valley.”
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