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City Council approves measure to allow Suns to schedule more events

March 22, 2011|By KATE S. ALEXANDER | kate.alexander@herald-mail.com

Starting this year, the Hagerstown Suns will have more flexibility to schedule events.

The Hagerstown City Council Tuesday night unanimously approved a resolution to revise its lease with the minor league baseball team to allow the franchise to schedule some events without coming before the council.

The current lease requires council approval for any events other than minor league baseball games.

As amended Tuesday, the lease would allow the Suns to host other baseball and athletic events without seeking additional city approval, according to city documents.

Nonbaseball events that comply with the city noise ordinance, do not require city services and do not involve the sale of alcohol can be approved by city officials without council approval, under the amended lease.

The organization will still need to come before the council to host events that would require city services, exemption from the noise ordinance or involve the sale of alcohol. The Suns are prohibited from selling alcohol at events other than professional baseball games without seeking appropriate liquor permits, according to city documents.

The Suns are seeking to host more concerts, festivals and other baseball events at the stadium starting this season, General Manager Bill Farley said previously.

In a proposal made to the council earlier this month, city staff members said the Suns hope to host three battle-of-the-bands events at the stadium on nongame-day Saturdays starting this season. They also hope to host a concert series on nongame-day Thursdays.

City Attorney Mark Boyer said on March 15 that protections were built into the lease revisions to lessen the impact on neighbors.

According to the lease, “no concert shall be held on a Thursday immediately preceding the Friday of a scheduled fireworks show.”  

It also restricts concerts to 180 minutes and requires all concerts to be concluded by 10:30 p.m.

During the council’s March 15 work session, Councilwoman Ashley C. Haywood encouraged Farley to reach out to neighbors and give them the chance to engage in discussions surrounding these proposed events.

No additional discussion was offered by the council Tuesday.

Changes to the lease will be effective March 22, according to city documents.

The council also approved introducing an amendment to the city code regulating noise  that would allow the council to exempt events held by private entities that would violate the noise ordinance.  

It will vote on the ordinance at its April 5 meeting, according to city documents.

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