MARQUETTE — Superior Culture along Third Street in Marquette will be able to continue hosting live music outdoors on its property, but with several conditions, per the Marquette City Planning Commission.
In a 4-2 vote, the planning commission on Tuesday approved amending the business’ special land-use permit to allow live music outdoors only on Fridays between 7 to 9 p.m. with no live drums. Live drums can be used from 6 to 8 p.m. during the four Thursday evenings that Music on Third is held.
Other conditions to the permit include additional sound-dampening items, ensuring sound levels are managed by Superior Culture staff, and closing the outdoor area to service at 10 p.m.
Another condition is that city staff will provide a report to the planning commission on July 19 on the status of operations, including any noise or neighbor complaints, Marquette City Planner David Stensaas said in an email.
The matter stems from an October public hearing at which the planning commission found that conditions of approval for the special land-use permit granted to Superior Culture had not been met.
The business did not have all sound-dampening materials for live outdoor music installed per a site plan dated June 3, 2021, and had operations outdoors exceeding the 10 p.m. time limit on multiple occasions, officials said.
In the October meeting, the commission requested that there be no further live music events held outdoors until all site plan elements relating to outdoor music be resolved.
This included putting up sound-dampening materials on the back of the stage, acoustic fabric canopy installation, and that a block wall repair is made.
Bike racks needed to be added to the property to meet the requirement for bike parking on the property, and a sound-management plan needed to be developed with Superior Culture’s neighbors and presented to the planning commission this month.
At Tuesday’s meeting, many residents who have homes near Superior Culture said that they don’t want the business shut down, just the outdoor music, which they believe is too loud.
Many also commented that they felt Superior Culture’s owner, Alex Rowland, had not sufficiently reached out to neighbors to come up with a compromise for the situation.
“I think it’s abundantly clear that the only solution here is for him to have music inside,” resident Ron Sundell said during the public comment portion of the meeting. “We’re not against music, but we are against the noise that disrupts our ability to live in peace and harmony with the neighborhood, with our neighbors.”
Marquette Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Rebecca Finco said she believed the business should be able to retain its permit, with conditions.
“Without a doubt Superior Culture adds to the vitality of the eclectic Third Street commercial corridor,” Finco said. “In spirit of cooperation and support of local business development, I encourage the planning commission to continue Superior Culture’s special land-use permit, with the new measures clearly outlined within it.”
Rowland presented a sound-management plan, saying that he’s
“willing to make significant compromises regarding our outdoor operations to find a peaceful solution moving forward.”
The sound-management plan included reducing the outdoor music schedule to one night a week, from 7 to 9 p.m. on Fridays only, with the backyard outdoor lights out at 10 p.m.
The exception to this would be additional live music from 6 to 8 p.m. on the four Thursdays that Music on Third occurs downtown during the summer. An overhead canopy would be installed to reduce the noise, and sound-dampening curtains would be placed on both sides of the stage.
The block wall repair has already been made, and bike racks have already been installed, Rowland noted.
When asked by the commission when the overhead canopy sound dampening curtains will be installed, Rowland said that they will be installed before Superior Culture will have outdoor music.
The commission asked if the materials for these projects have been purchased yet.
Rowland answered that they have not been purchased, as he did not want to spend money on them until the decision was made that permitted them to continue live music outdoors.
“Young people don’t stay in Marquette because there’s no opportunity. That’s just the way it is, it’s been that way for a while, and that’s a problem. Here we have someone who made opportunity for himself,” Marquette City Planning Commissioner Nathan Frischkorn said. “I see where both sides are coming from, but I would have a hard time trying to shut down this entrepreneurship and this creating a opportunity to actually allow someone to stay in Marquette.”
According to Rowland, the next steps for Superior Culture are to put up an overhead canopy and curtains on the sides of the stage, reinforce the south side of the sound-barrier fence that was built in 2021, and put up a tent with tables and chairs underneath it.
“I went into the meeting knowing that I was going to have to give a little bit more than I initially want to in order to try to find a common ground that I think would be acceptable by all parties,” Rowland said. “I’m overall happy that it is what I sought out more or less going into that meeting to plan for this summer.”
Taylor Johnson can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 248. Her email address is email@example.com.
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MARQUETTE — Superior Culture along Third Street in Marquette will be able to continue hosting live music outdoors ...
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