Tempe Shady Park music venue will likely appeal ruling on live concert noise

By Vaughan Jones
Published: Saturday, April 16, 2022 - 3:33pm
Updated: Saturday, April 16, 2022 - 3:40pm

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Shady Park
Bradley Roe/KJZZ
Shady Park has been open in Tempe since 2015.

A Maricopa County Superior Court judge ruled in favor of the Mirabella at ASU retirement community last week, requiring the nearby Shady Park club to end live music earlier in the evening and lower the volume of performances.

Attorney Scott Zwillinger is representing Shady Park, the venue near Mill Avenue and University Drive in Tempe. He says an appeal is likely, and the case affects more than just one business.

“It affects every business on Mill Avenue, every business in the downtown Tempe entertainment district, and any business that was thinking of moving into the downtown entertainment district. So, we hope the Court of Appeals will see the wide-ranging effect of this,” said Zwillinger.

Zwillinger says live performances are an important part of the club’s ability to pay its employees.

A representative of Mirabella said in a statement that the ruling provides relief to not only its residents, but the surrounding community as well.

Mirabella at ASU
Bradley Roe/KJZZ
Mirabella at ASU opened to residents in December 2020.

The court’s ruling included a note about Shady Park’s importance to Tempe and the Valley’s music community, but that its importance does not provide it with permission to “annoy its neighbors.”

Zwillinger says the venue has tried to be a good neighbor, including working to build a canopy to contain sound.

“My client has, since before a single complaint was issued by Mirabella, has been working to figure out a way to contain noise, to be a good neighbor. All throughout this, he has taken steps, he shut down voluntarily for several months,” said Zwillinger.

The court ruled, however, that Shady Park did not consult an acoustical engineer, nor perform any testing to see if the canopy was effective.

The court also ruled that the city of Tempe had a “​​preferential relationship” with Shady Park, a claim that a city representative denied.

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