A Shakespeare in the Park performance in 2015 at Old Mill Park. Courtesy image.

Is now the winter of our discontent?

Mill Valley residents have a forum on the horizon to express that discontent, or their wholehearted contentedness or something in between at an upcoming Parks & Recreation Commission hearing about the various uses of Old Mill Park, from the Curtain Theatre‘s annual series of performances and private events like weddings to one-off fundraisers and the usual gleeful shrieks of children, well, playing in the park.

The hearing is set for Wednesday, March 6 at 6:30pm in the Council chambers at City Hall (26 Corte Madera Avenue).

The debate appears to have kicked off with complaints lodged by Old Mill Park’s neighbors, and an unsigned letter from one resident “seeking a substantial reduction in the number of events, activities, noise, disruption, etc.,” according to the Marin Independent Journal. The letter specifically takes issue with the Curtain Theatre, the nonprofit organization that has been producing free theater in the park’s redwood-laden amphitheater since 2000. “The duration of practices and performances needs to be addressed.”

Mill Valley Arts & Recreation Director Jenny Rogers says the commission is inviting community members to share their perspectives at a hearing “to review policies that govern the uses of Mill Valley parks.”

Supporters of the Curtain Theatre, created a “Save the Curtain Theatre” online petition, collecting more than signatures to date. “The outpouring of support for the Curtain has been truly heart-warming,” says Stephen Beecroft, a producer for the theater.

The unsigned letter also sought to limit Old Mill Park event rentals, which are currently limited to three rentals per day each at the amphitheater, the Redwood Grove and the group picnic area, and also suggests hiking rental rates for wedding ceremonies from $100 to $4,000.

Want to have your say? Send your comments to Parks & Recreation Commission, 26 Corte Madera Ave.
Mill Valley, CA 94941 or email at recreate@cityofmillvalley.org.

If you can’t be in the room, watch the live stream on March 6 here.

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