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Opinion: A Shady Park win represents a win for local business, a lesson for ASU

ASU should exercise more caution when breaking ground on expansions to the University


A decision from the Arizona Court of Appeals represents a win for all local businesses near ASU.

Last month, the Arizona Court of Appeals lifted the injunction on the case between Shady Park and Mirabella at ASU in Shady Park’s favor. 

The injunction placed heavy restrictions on the club regarding hosting live music events, citing chiefly First Amendment concerns among others. Court documents from the Arizona Court of Appeals stated that the injunction “burdens more speech than necessary to address the asserted harm.” 

This inevitable decision seems obvious in light of the initial complaint. Unlike what was issued in the injunction, even Mirabella never asked for a curfew on concerts. The injunction was unnecessarily heavy-handed even when looked at from Mirabella’s perspective. According to the appeal, even Mirabella’s own expert testified in the initial trial that just turning the volume down to 65 decibels would help surrounding residents. 

Issuing a curfew that effectively kills all nighttime shows is absurd, and this injunction was rightfully vacated and remanded. Hopefully, this case can serve as a lesson for the courts to consider less heavy-handed rulings, thinking them through rather than just going for what is seemingly the easiest approach. 

But furthermore, this case serves as a lesson for ASU; the University needs to use more foresight in its future investments.

If anything, Mirabella is a clear-cut example of a lack of foresight. Putting a retirement community in the middle of Tempe and then expecting peace and quiet is ridiculous, and now the students are footing the bill for ASU’s lack of foresight and common sense – again, who thought that Mill Avenue would be the ideal spot for a tranquil retirement community?  

ASU should not be making blunders like Mirabella, especially in light of the expansions the University is making into other states and just how much these expansions cost the school. Again, it’s important to remember that students foot the bill for these mistakes at the end of the day through tuition. Also, and more importantly, they pay through sacrificing the student experiences that come with living on or near campus – student experiences that ASU is supposed to be keeping in its best interests. 

Imagine if ASU had chosen a different location with cheaper real estate and a quieter surrounding area to put their retirement community in. Imagine what that money saved could have been spent on, like finding solutions to the housing crisis that ASU is currently facing or other things that would directly benefit the vast majority of students’ experiences at the University. 

In addition, situations like Mirabella's do not look good when the school is making incredibly costly investments in other areas. If ASU is going to be spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on lobbying in order to get the funds needed to expand into other areas, they need to show that they can be trusted to think ahead about where they want to expand and what exactly they are trying to create in these areas. 

Blunders like Mirabella don’t just hurt ASU as a school, they hurt ASU’s student body, taking away experiences that could greatly benefit the vast majority of students. If ASU wants to continue to expand into new areas and break new ground, I hope those in charge will view Mirabella as a lesson and use more forethought in these future developments. They should keep in mind who, at the end of the day, is paying the bill for the new developments, or mistakes, that ASU may make.  

Edited by Kate Duffy, Jasmine Kabiri and Caera Learmonth.

Reach the columnist at and follow @swmcgeemedia on Twitter.

Editor's note: The opinions presented in this column are the author's and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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