City of Tempe files brief appealing decision in favor of Mirabella
At 5:50 a.m. last Thursday, ASU President Michael Crow set off for a morning hike. “It’s pitch dark and there’s a guy waiting in my driveway,” he said. “I don’t know who this guy is. It’s like maybe he was a killer.”
The man wasn’t there to kill the president of the university. Instead, the man, apparently a neighbor whom Crow did not know, wanted to ask if he had seen a recent Wall Street Journal front page — one that featured a story about Mirabella vs. Shady Park, the ongoing legal battle for over a year.
Mirabella at the USSa high-rise apartment complex housing retirees near the corner of Mill Avenue and University Drive, opened in December 2020. In the summer, its residents filed noise complaints against shaded parka staple of house music, food and drink in downtown Tempe, located just across from Mirabella.
Last fall, the resort, along with several residents, sued Shady Park and claimed that the venue’s live music had a negative impact on the health and well-being of its residents. And last spring, a judge — who later dropped the case — ruled noise from Shady Park concerts was a nuisance to residents of the ASU retirement home and surrounding businesses.
READ MORE: Judge sides with Mirabella and limits Shady Park concert noise, hours
The legal battle is not over, however, as Shady Park’s attorneys have appealed the decision. In early 2023, the case will be tried by a new judge, and the legal dispute is receiving more attention than ever, with the dispute making the front page of the Wall Street Journal, one of the nation’s largest newspapers.
The city of Tempe is also now embroiled in the legal battle as it filed an amicus brief on September 28 in support of Shady Park, claiming the judge’s former ruling was wrong in naming the Shady Park area and Mirabella as “mainly residential and not”. -music advertising.
“We’ve been working to find a solution,” Crow said in an interview with The State Press last week. “The courts are good at solving problems when you can’t find a solution. I prefer to find one before that.”
A resolution found outside the court, however, seems increasingly unlikely.
Last July, Shady Park halted live music to implement sound-reducing measures. The venue added a canopy to the outdoor music area, acoustic panels, and other materials to reduce ambient noise exiting the building. In the two months the site was closed, Shady Park paid staff salaries and spent about $300,000 to install the structure, according to court documents.
Tempe Amicus Brief
Tom Dorough, executive director of Mirabella at ASU, said in an email that the city of Tempe had already been found to be biased against Shady Park in the previous judge’s decision and that “this brief is another unfortunate example of the city trying to sway the courts while ignoring its role in approving several residential high-rises along University Drive.”
Dorough said Shady Park is surrounded by other residential complexes and hotels in addition to Mirabella. “The City of Tempe has approved and welcomed each of these projects, and residents of each of these buildings have complained about the loud bass from the morning outdoor concerts in Shady Park,” Dorough said in the email.
“These projects take a long time from concept to construction, and the City of Tempe is actively involved in the planning process,” Dorough said in the email. “The city helped bring Mirabella to its current location, beginning with talks in 2015 – before Shady Park held an outdoor concert.”
The city’s amicus brief says downtown Tempe is a “diverse and thriving place to live, eat, play and work”, and Shady Park is part of the mixed-use community the city has built.
According to the city, the Superior Court’s decision “threatens the continuation and success of these efforts by determining that there is a likelihood of proving that a club’s music is a nuisance based on its misclassification of the center. -city as a non-musical residential and commercial place”. .”
In the amicus brief, he also notes that the city has stated that it strives to follow the general plan 2040, adopted in December 2013. The plan is a land use objective to maintain the city center of Tempe, Tempe Town Lake and the University as the central urban core of Tempe. .
Following the Master Plan 2040, the city’s goal is to foster a downtown that merges businesses such as Shady Park and residential businesses such as Mirabella.
The city argued that the ruling misunderstood the nature of downtown and failed to consider businesses hosting or playing music. The city said the ruling only considered apartments, student housing and non-music-producing commercial businesses, such as Wells Fargo Bank, Pita Jungle Restaurant and The Salvation Army near Shady Park.
With the decision, the city fears that the area where Mirabella and Shady Park are located could prevent the city from maintaining the type of rich and diverse community it has developed and continues to develop in the downtown area due to the restriction. noise. .
Edited by Jasmine Kabiri, Piper Hansen and Kristen Apolline Castillo.
Wyatt MyskowProject Manager
Wyatt Myskow is project manager at The State Press, where he oversees corporate stories for publication. He also works at The Arizona Republic, where he covers the cities of Peoria and Surprise.
Andrea RamirezCommunity journalist
Andrea Ramirez is a part-time reporter at The State Press. She previously worked for The State Press for Spring 23.
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