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West OKC citizens hold protest of Sunset Amphitheater

Joan Brodmerkel, Sally Wilson and Joe Wilson participate in the protest against the Sunset Amphitheater near the corner of Sara Road and 15th Street on March 5. (Photo by Jacob Sturm)

By Jacob Sturm
news@mustangpaper.com

A group of concerned citizens voiced their displeasure regarding the plans for the Sunset
Amphitheater project during a picket on March 5.

As more information continues coming out about plans for an the project coming to the West
OKC area near Sara Road and SW 15 th Street, a group consisting of the Mustang Creek Family
Fund took to the streets in opposition and voiced their concerns.

James King, a concerned citizen participating in the picket, shared the concerns he has with the
development during an interview with the Mustang Times.

“A lot of the concerns that I have are enforcement of the curfew of when they’ll end shows, as
well as the sound levels,” King said.

King said the Amphitheater got an increase of five decibels over the city code at the OKC
Planning Commission meeting. King also voiced concerns about the project attempting to
loosen other restrictions. He stated concessions, like one mentioning the sound checks having
to occur after 2 p.m., would not work well enough as school is still in session at that time.
Despite the concerns, OKC Planning Commission members determined the project should go in
front of the OKC City Council.

King started a Facebook group, Opponents of Sunset Amphitheater, and has grown the group to
include 530 members currently. He said opponents to the amphitheater have sent in “hundreds
of emails and letters” to OKC Mayor David Holt, all eight OKC City Council members and the
OKC City Clerk.

“Hopefully, we can get city council to for sure vote no, and at least kick it back and push their
timeline back as well,” King said.

King said he has spoken at the past three OKC City Council meetings, and has plans to continue
going to the meetings until the vote on the project happens on April 9.

Lisa Bailey, another concerned citizen who participated in the picket, voiced concerns about the
traffic caused on the surrounding roads, and mentioned the noise.

“I love all types of music, but I don’t want to subject other people to my entertainment,” Bailey
said. “I don’t want other children to suffer or families to suffer because I want to be
entertained. I just think a big business coming in from out of state, to come in and put a venue
in (is not good). I want a park here. I want something that adds quality of life to our families, not takes away from it. We’re trying to build good neighborhoods and raise children for the future. I just don’t think this adds anything to our quality of life.”

An additional issue becomes sufficiently compromising with the amphitheater. King stated he
didn’t want to pass the buck and make the issue someone else’s problem by identifying a
location even farther out that would infringe on others.

So, where would work? One possibility suggested was Downtown Oklahoma City.

“Something like this belongs downtown where people expect this kind of a noise problem,”
King said. “So, moving it to somewhere else, I mean this is a horrible location for it. Is any other
place or location better? I don’t know. I don’t think so necessarily… Downtown Oklahoma City
would be the first choice of where it should go if it did go anywhere.”

Opponents to the Amphitheater have also created a website called norezone.net where people
can reach out.

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