Township Fights Shed

Residents in Michigan’s Boston Township persuaded officials to pass an ordinance to stop a developer from building an amphitheatre in the area.

Detroit-based United Entertainment wants to build an outdoor entertainment park in the township that would include an $18 million, 5,000-seat shed and a 7,000-space parking lot. Besides the usual traffic and noise concerns, residents worried about the fact that United Entertainment owner Kris Dreyer filed for bankruptcy in August.

Neighbors tried to stop the project previously but local red tape reportedly prevented them from repealing a zoning ordinance.

However, about 60 residents showed up at a November 28th township board meeting and got officials to consider, approve and enact an ordinance regulating outdoor assemblies, according to the Sentinel-Standard newspaper.

Boston Township Supervisor Robert Dunton confirmed that an ordinance was passed, adding that United Entertainment had been notified of the meeting but no representative from the company showed up.

The 11-page ordinance defined “outdoor assembly” within the township, and detailed requirements for theatre, music, festivals and other events, the Sentinel-Standard said.

Assemblies of less than 500 people are exempt from the ordinance. Gatherings of 501 to 2,000 can only be held a maximum five times a year. Additional requirements are tacked on to gatherings above 2,000.

Alcohol will not be permitted at outdoor assemblies above 500 people and sound cannot travel beyond the premises. An opaque fence needs to surround an assembly, with gates, and events need to end at 9 p.m., with egress finished by 10 p.m., the paper said.

The ordinance is enforceable 30 days after publication, according to the Sentinel-Standard.

Dreyer has been trying to get a shed built in West Michigan for years, with initial attempts in MeCosta and Montcalm counties.