MARQUETTE — Upper Culture along Third Street in Marquette will be able to continue to host live music outdoors on its property, but with several conditions, according to the Marquette Planning Commission.
In a 4-to-2 vote, the planning commission on Tuesday approved amending the company’s special land use permit to allow live music outdoors only on Fridays between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. without drums in direct. Live drums can be used from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on all four Thursday nights of Music on Third.
Other permit conditions include additional soundproofing features, 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 provide a report to the planning commission on July 19 on the status of operations, including any noise or complaints from neighbors, Marquette city planner David Stensaas said in an e-mail. mail.
The case stems from an October public hearing in which the planning commission found that the conditions for approval of the special land use permit granted to Superior Culture had not been met.
The company had not installed all sound deadening materials for live outdoor music according to a site plan dated June 3, 2021, and had outdoor operations exceeding the 10 p.m. limit on several occasions, officials said.
At the October meeting, the commission requested that there be no further live music events held outdoors until all music-related elements of the site plan are in full swing. air are resolved.
This included putting sound deadening materials in place at the back of the stage, installing an acoustic fabric canopy and repairing a block wall.
Bike racks were to be added to the property to meet the requirement for bicycle parking on the property, and a stewardship plan was to be developed with Superior Culture neighbors and presented to the planning commission this month. this.
At Tuesday’s meeting, many residents who have homes near Superior Culture said they don’t want the business to close, just the outdoor music, which they feel is too loud.
Many also said they felt Superior Culture owner Alex Rowland had not reached out enough to neighbors to find a compromise over the situation.
“I think it’s quite clear that the only solution here is for it to have music inside,” said resident Ron Sundell during the public comment portion of the meeting. “We are not against music, but we are against noise which disturbs our ability to live in peace and harmony with the neighborhood, with our neighbours.”
Marquette Downtown Development Authority executive director Rebecca Finco said she thinks the company should be able to keep its permit, with conditions.
“Without a doubt, the superior culture adds to the vitality of Third Street’s eclectic shopping corridor”, says Finco. “In the spirit of cooperation and support for local business development, I encourage the planning commission to continue Superior Culture’s special land use permit, with the new measures clearly outlined.
Rowland presented a sound management plan, saying he is
“willing to make significant compromises regarding our overseas operations to find a peaceful way forward.”
The sound management plan called for reducing the outdoor music schedule to one evening a week, from 7 to 9 p.m. on Fridays only, with the outdoor backyard lights turning off at 10 p.m.
The exception to this would be additional live music from 6-8 p.m. on the four Thursdays that Music on Third performs downtown during the summer. A canopy would be installed to reduce noise and soundproofing curtains would be placed on both sides of the stage.
The block wall repair has already been completed and bike racks have already been installed, Rowland noted.
When asked by the commission when the canopy soundproofing curtains will be installed, Rowland said they will be installed before Superior Culture has outdoor music.
The commission asked if the materials for these projects have already been purchased.
Rowland replied that they weren’t bought out, as he didn’t want to spend any money on them until the decision was made that allowed them to continue live music outside.
“Young people don’t stay in Marquette because there are no opportunities. It’s like that, it’s been like that for a while, and it’s a problem. Here we have someone who has created an opportunity,” Marquette Planning Commissioner Nathan Frischkorn said. “I see where both sides are coming from, but I would be hard-pressed to stop this entrepreneurial spirit and create an opportunity to allow someone to stay at Marquette.”
According to Rowland, the next steps for Superior Culture are to install a canopy and curtains on the sides of the stage, to reinforce the south side of the noise barrier which was built in 2021 and to install a tent with tables and chairs in below.
“I went into the meeting knowing that I was going to have to give a little more than I initially wanted in order to try and find some common ground that I think would be acceptable to all parties,” Rowland said. “I’m overall happy that this is what I more or less looked for in this meeting to plan for this summer.”
Taylor Johnson can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 248. His email address is [email protected]