Hearing set on Aspen restaurant noise
October 9, 2013
A Pitkin County District Court hearing on two condo owners' request to force Syzygy and Ute City restaurants to scale back their noise has been set for March 7 and 21.
The motion for a preliminary injunction affecting the two East Hopkins Avenue eateries was brought by Michael Sedoy and Natalia Shvachko, two of six defendants in a city of Aspen lawsuit that seeks to give affordable-housing tenants and people with disabilities in the Ute City Building access to the building's front entrance and an elevator.
Sedoy and Shvachko, who in the past year have made numerous complaints to Aspen police about excessive noise on the so-called Restaurant Row area of East Hopkins, own free-market condo units in the Ute City Building. In September, their attorney filed a motion for a preliminary injunction and request for a hearing that seeks to bar the two restaurants in their building from playing any music after 10 p.m. They also want enforcement of a 50-decibel-or-less sound restriction before 10 p.m., which is well below the maximum sound level allowed in the city's noise ordinance.
Sedoy and Shvachko claim that they purchased the condos with legal approval to prevent others from using the front entrance and the elevator. The couple also alleges that Restaurant Row noise has given their 19-month-old child a sleeping disorder and has led to health issues for Shvachko.
A status conference on Tuesday, presided over by District Judge Gail Nichols, was held primarily to deal with claims and counterclaims by many of the involved parties and to decide whether a hearing is warranted on the preliminary injunction. The groups representing the restaurants, who like Sedoy and Shvachko are defendants in the city's suit, argued that the request for the preliminary injunction is moot. Nichols did not decide in their favor, and he set the hearing for the two dates in March.
City Attorney Jim True was present for Tuesday's conference and said afterward that very little time was spent discussing the city's contentions in the suit.
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"It was a telephone conference," True said. "This was mainly about the preliminary-injunction issue, about what (Sedoy and Shvachko) were proceeding against the other people in the building, the two restaurants and the homeowners' association."
A lot of the issues during the hearing concerned discovery and experts involved in that dispute, "totally unrelated to the city's issue," True added.
"It's the city's suit, but they filed all of these cross-claims against each other," he said.
Attorney John Case, who represents Sedoy and Shvachko and was present during the status conference, did not return a call seeking comment Tuesday.
In court documents, Sedoy and Shvachko have vowed not to reside in their Ute City building units until the matter is resolved in their favor.