By Bethany Park
The Dojo may be shutting down. A free locale for local music is being investigated for violating city zoning laws.
The dojo is a house that happens to throw really good parties with live bands. There is no cover charge, only donation requests, said Grant Mann, 25, a senior from Puyallup, Wash. majoring in pre-med.
Even though the dojo isn’t a commercial business, the city may consider them commercial due to the frequency of shows held there. The dojo is located in a residential zone and laws prohibit commercial venues in a residential area, said Reta Trimble, zoning administrator for Provo community development.
“Homes that have parties in residential areas are fine, unless they violate noise ordinances. If one particular home has a party every week, it could be considered a nuisance to the residents that live around them,” Trimble said.
The dojo has been hosting live music for over two years. They close down at 11:30 p.m. out of respect for members in their community, Mann said.
“In two years we’ve never had complaints from neighbors,” Mann said.
The local community, made up largely of students, has never supported live music because of the cost, said Ken Morena, general manager of Club Omni.
Many music venues have closed purely for financial reasons such as Mama’s Caf?, The Soul Station and The Underground, Morena said.
“The live music scene has been driven to underground venues, but the city doesn’t want anyone to have any fun. They pack the regulations on the places that are still around,” Morena said.
“I’ve been involved in the local music scene in Provo since 1993. The city has never been supportive of local music, and the excuse to shut things down is usually some kind of zoning regulation,” said Jason Gough, BYU graduate and guitarist for recently signed band Coastal, formerly known as Infrared.