Government

Tempe City Council sides with bar in retirement home fight

All council members signed a letter in support of Shady Park

Posted 4/22/22

The Tempe City Council during its April 21 work study session signed a letter in support of a beleaguered Mill Avenue bar. 

Vice Mayor Randy Keating introduced a public letter in support of …

This story requires a subscription for $5.99/month.
Already a subscriber? Log in to continue. Otherwise, click here to subscribe.

To Our Valued Readers –

Visitors to our website will be limited to five stories per month unless they opt to subscribe. The five stories do not include our exclusive content written by our journalists.

For $5.99, less than 20 cents a day, digital subscribers will receive unlimited access to YourValley.net, including exclusive content from our newsroom and access to our Daily Independent e-edition.

Our commitment to balanced, fair reporting and local coverage provides insight and perspective not found anywhere else.

Your financial commitment will help to preserve the kind of honest journalism produced by our reporters and editors. We trust you agree that independent journalism is an essential component of our democracy. Please click here to subscribe.

Sincerely,
Charlene Bisson, Publisher, Independent Newsmedia

Please log in to continue

Log in

Subscribe to our e-newsletter for continued access

Free newsletter subscribers to the Daily Independent can enjoy free access to our AP stories, Capital Media Services, earned media and special contributors on our Opinions with Civility pages. If you aren’t a free newsletter subscriber yet, join now and continue accessing more content. This does not include our exclusive content written by the newsroom. We hope you’ll consider supporting our journalism.

I am anchor
Government

Tempe City Council sides with bar in retirement home fight

All council members signed a letter in support of Shady Park

Posted

The Tempe City Council during its April 21 work study session signed a letter in support of a beleaguered Mill Avenue bar. 

Vice Mayor Randy Keating introduced a public letter in support of Shady Park, which recently lost an injunction from Mirabella at ASU, the neighboring retirement home that wants to regulate the venue’s live music concerts. The city council unanimously signed the letter in support of Shady Park. 

During the meeting, the council also voted to file an amicus brief on behalf of the bar as it pursues an appeal to the injunction that forced it to put a stop to their live music. 

Keating read the letter publicly during the meeting, expressing his respect for Mirabella residents but emphasizing the positive impact Shady Park has on Tempe’s arts-driven downtown. 

“Unfortunately a ruling made by a Maricopa County Superior Court judge on April 12 calls into question the future of this local institution and very well could have a chilling effect on live music across our city,” said Keating. “This ruling has the potential to cost many employees their jobs and rob the city of Tempe of an economic and cultural asset.”

As the matter was not included on the meeting's agenda, the council was not permitted to discuss their views and could only say whether they would sign the letter or not. All seven members agreed to sign. 

The letter also questioned the interference of a county judge in a local matter. 

“The judge’s ruling casts doubt on Tempe’s ability to thoughtfully regulate and promote live music throughout our city,” Keating continued. “Furthermore, we are concerned about the precedent of substituting a judge’s opinion on a matter of local concern instead of allowing us, the elected officials, to determine the best policies for our community as a whole.”

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Brad Astrowsky ruled on April 12 that Shady Park’s concerts are a nuisance that warrant injunctive relief. The retirement home opened in 2020 when the venue was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In response, Mirabella urged the Tempe City Council to understand its position. 

“Mirabella supports live music in Tempe,” Tom Dorough, Executive Director of Mirabella at ASU, said in a statement. “It has never attempted to shut Shady Park down. It did not do so before the litigation was filed; it has not asked Shady Park to do so in the litigation. And the court’s preliminary injunction allows Shady Park to continue to hold its outdoor concerts seven days a week.”

Dorough’s statement emphasized Shady Park’s “excessive noise” and insisted the court looked at the evidence carefully. He encouraged the council to read the court’s decision for themselves. 

“The court carefully considered evidence from people of all ages who live and work on University Drive, including hotel management who receive numerous complaints about Shady Park’s excessive noise every single weekend and students who can’t ‘think, study, and work’ during Shady Park concerts, in addition to residents at Mirabella who simply want to sleep at night and enjoy their homes as every person does,” he said. “After careful consideration of more than 20 witnesses and more than 100 exhibits, the court simply ordered Shady Park to make reasonable changes to the way they operate their outdoor concerts. Rather than comply with these changes, Shady Park has voluntarily chosen to cancel its concerts.” 

Following the April 13 decision, Shady Park said the parameters required by the injunction made continuing the events difficult. 

“The ruling will force Shady Park to cease all live music options immediately, as the restrictions mandated make it impossible for us to hold live music operations,” the bar said in a statement. “We strongly disagree with the findings, and we will be appealing. If upheld, Shady Park will likely be forced to close its doors to so many of our friends, family and staff members.”

Comments

No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here