Shady Park Reaches Agreement with Mirabella—But Only the Music Venue Has to Take Action

Shady Park and Mirabella at ASU (Photos by Alyssa Bickle and Wright On Communications)

By Alyssa Bickle

April 12, 2023

The Tempe music venue has been embattled in a lawsuit with the senior-living community for over a year, and has already invested over $300,000 to reduce noise.

Shady Park and Mirabella at ASU came to a resolution in their yearlong lawsuit following the implementation of enhanced noise-reducing measures by Shady Park, according to a joint press release. 

Mirabella at ASU is a 62-and-up senior-living community on the Arizona State University Tempe campus and is partnered with the university. Shady Park is a popular bar, restaurant, and music venue in Tempe, just off ASU’s campus. 

The resolution allows Shady Park to continue to host concerts at a reduced volume by reducing the impact of noise on the surrounding community. 

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“We’ve always been committed to being good neighbors. This resolution will allow us to once again host proper live music events while addressing our neighbors’ concerns,” said Scott Price, Shady Park owner, in a press release.  

Mirabella at ASU is located about 250 feet south from Shady Park, directly across University Drive. 

“We’re glad we were able to work with Mirabella to achieve this and look forward to welcoming everyone back to shows at Shady Park for years to come,” Price said.  

Timeline of the Controversy

Mirabella at ASU describes itself as “an intergenerational community fueled by lifelong learning and collegiate energy,” in which residents have access to ASU facilities, events, and other resources.

Mirabella residents moved into the newly constructed 20-story living complex in December 2020. During that time, concerts at Shady Park were canceled due to COVID-19 precautions. 

Residents of Mirabella filed an initial lawsuit against Shady Park in November 2021 based on their noise complaints. 

Shady Park has been hosting music events since 2015, several years before Mirabella at ASU even began construction. Mill Avenue, which Shady Park is located just east of, is known for being the center of nightlife in Tempe.

In July 2021, Shady Park temporarily halted their business for two months to build a canopy over the outdoor music area and acoustic panels. Shady Park spent $300,000 to complete the updates and paid their staff’s wages the entire time the business was closed, The State Press reported

Live music at the venue resumed in September 2021, but complaints from residents at Mirabella immediately rolled in again.

In November 2021, The State Press reported that noise complaints were investigated by Tempe police, finding the music to be at a reasonable level. 

In April 2022, a Maricopa County Superior Court judge ruled in favor of Mirabella at ASU, suggesting that the updates Shady Park made to the venue were not enough to contain noise.

Additionally, the judge, Brad Astrowsky, ordered Shady Park to limit the length of concerts and their noise levels. Concerts were restricted to Monday through Saturday between 7 and 11 p.m. and Sunday concerts from 2 to 7 p.m. 

Astrowsky later took himself off the case because of a conflict of interest, as his courtroom assistant was a former employee of Snell and Wilmer, the firm representing Mirabella. 

Shady Park stayed open as a bar and restaurant after this ruling, but could no longer host live music. 

Throughout the entire legal battle, Shady Park has been the only party involved that has had to take any action to improve the situation, though Mirabella has called it a “win-win” resolution.  

Support from the City of Tempe

In Oct. 2022, the city of Tempe showed support for Shady Park after it filed a court document asking the court to reverse the April restrictions. 

Astrowsky called downtown Tempe a residential area, while the city of Tempe pointed out the area surrounding Shady Park, downtown Tempe, has always been mixed-use. 

“We’re thrilled to find a win-win resolution,” said Tom Dorough, executive director of Mirabella at ASU. “This agreement will keep the music going for Shady Park’s fans while letting surrounding residents get a good night’s sleep. It’s a great result for the community and the City of Tempe.” 

Shady Park will begin working with the city of Tempe as soon as possible to acquire the building permits so that the additional sound mitigation measures can be implemented and live music can return, according to a press release. 

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Author

  • Alyssa Bickle

    Alyssa Bickle is an affordability and LGBTQ+ reporting intern for The Copper Courier. She expects to graduate in May 2024 with degrees in journalism and political science and a minor in urban and metropolitan studies. She has reported for Cronkite News and The State Press and is an assistant research analyst at ASU’s Center for Latina/os and American Politics Research.

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