WNYT.com

Washington Avenue Armory allowed to host event tonight

Posted at: 03/29/2013 10:53 PM
Updated at: 03/30/2013 7:52 AM
By: Allison Dorchik

ALBANY - Crowds of party-goers are back on the dance floor at the Washington Avenue Armory tonight.

The event is called "Stuff Your Face With Bass."

A state judge temporarily blocked the City of Albany from shutting down large dance parties at the Armory, but city leaders aren't giving up their fight to stop the events, which they say aren't allowed under zoning laws.

Organizers say it's not the big crowd as they normally see, but after a number of cancelations due to a legal fight with the city, they're relieved to be open again.

Dancing to the electronic music, dressed in white. Party-goers at the Stuff Your Face with Bass event say it feels great to have the Armory back in business.

Victoria White says, "I thought it was crazy! Like why would they cancel it when everybody wants to have a fun time? It's a perfect place. It's awesome."

The event, only got the green light late yesterday, when a State Supreme Court judge stopped the City of Albany from shutting the Armory down. The ruling allows the temporarily operation while the two sides fight a legal dispute over zoning.

Jeffrey Jamison from the City of Albany says, "Zoning is to protect health safety and quality of life in the neighborhood. Let's be honest. Rave parties in the middle of residential area it affects the quality of life and shouldn't be permitted and it's not."

Problems began in October when a foam filled event got out of control outside the Armory. Several police officers were injured and 7 people were arrested. The city filed two cease and desist orders, first on safety and code violations, and early this month, on the grounds that the Armory is not approved to run a night club. The Armory says its events do qualify as concerts, which are approved.

Michael Corts from the Armory says, "We're eager to sit down with the City and hash out a plan that works for all of us, for the City for the Armory our neighbors, our neighboring businesses. That's what we're looking forward to."

Some businesses and residents have complained about the late night crowds and noise in the neighborhood.

Event-goers say they're playing by the rules.

Zach Decker of Hudson says, "The first thing they think when we have something like this is that everybody does drugs and does all this crazy stuff and its not like that. We just want to have a crazy time and dance."

The Armory says it has just a couple future events scheduled, saying it may take time after all the cancelations, to get promoters to book events here.

The city plans to fight that court ruling keeping the Armory open.