A property owner in Telluride this week sued the resort town’s arts council, alleging the nonprofit organization is holding concerts and loud events in an old open-roof warehouse “10 feet from (his) bedroom window.”
Thomas Archipley, a Michigan resident who bought a third-floor condominium near the intersection of San Juan Avenue and Fir Street in Telluride in 2019, alleged that the Council for the Arts and Humanities began hosting events “so loud that he would not be able to hold a conversation or hear the basketball play-by-play on his TV,” one of his two lawsuits said.
The events and concerts are being hosted next door to his condo building in the Telluride Transfer Warehouse, which has been open-air since the building’s roof collapsed in the late 1970s, the lawsuits said.
Land-use documents detailing the repurposing of the warehouse “promised cultural events and ‘acoustic’ music in an ‘encase(d)’ structure,” one of the lawsuits said.
Archipley filed suit in both Colorado’s state court and in U.S. District Court on Tuesday.
Archipley’s state lawsuit also names the Telluride Town Council, the Telluride Planning and Zoning Commission and the town of Telluride as co-defendants alongside the arts council, also known as Telluride Arts.
The lawsuits claim that the town of Telluride previously had required that the warehouse be renovated and enclosed with a roof, but that the arts organization has been hosting concerts prior to any renovation. In March, Archipley alleges in his lawsuits, the town approved the venue for events and concerts without a new roof.
The Telluride Daily Planet reported that the Planning and Zoning Commission’s amendment allowed for a redesigned roof of the historic warehouse, which neighbors appealed to the town council. The town council denied the appeal, Archipley said in the lawsuit.
Archipley alleges that Telluride Arts refused to comply with any noise standards and that the town’s government has not enforced any noise ordinances against the venue.
The town of Telluride declined to comment on the lawsuit Friday, though the town attorney Kevin Geiger said Telluride has not been served yet.
Telluride Arts did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
According to the nonprofit’s website, Telluride Arts is in the process of raising $15 million for the renovation of the Transfer Warehouse.
“The modest expansion preserves the open-air courtyard while introducing new flexible event spaces, a functional basement and includes a roof deck with views of Telluride and the surrounding landscape,” the website said of the warehouse plans.
Archipley’s federal lawsuit contends the concerts have been extremely damaging to the quality of life for residents.
“A week after receiving its approval, and hearing about its events’ effects on neighbors, Telluride Arts held yet another concert, registering at 93 decibels, about as loud as a lawnmower in the same room,” the lawsuit said.
Archipley is asking for the prohibition of amplified music, with sound levels not exceeding 60 decibels between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and 55 decibels between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. The federal lawsuit also asks for Telluride Arts to install sound measuring devices and any additional relief the court decides.
In the state lawsuit, Archipley outlined requests that the court find that the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission and the Town Council “abused its discretion and exceeded its jurisdiction,” reverse the approval of the zoning of the venue, and award legal fees to the plaintiff.
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