City Council Rejects Sunset Amphitheatre In SW OKC, Vote Fails 7-2

The Oklahoma City Council voted on the plans for a new amphitheater Tuesday morning. The vote failed, 7-2, among council members.

Tuesday, April 9th 2024, 12:39 pm

By: News 9, Deanne Stein


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Oklahoma City council members reject the proposed Sunset Amphitheater at Mustang Creek Crossing.

In a seven to two vote on Tuesday, the city council denied developers from building the outdoor music venue west of downtown near Interstate 40 and the Kilpatrick Turnpike. “This is the ultimate sense of community to me,” said Melissa Lafave, a resident opposed to the development.

Nearly 100 community members showed up to the meeting, to stand up against the proposed music venue. “We have spent our time, our money, in between our jobs, taking time away from our families to fight through this,” Lafave said.

The 12-thousand-seat amphitheater was part of a project to develop 280 acres at Mustang Creek Crossing off Sara Road and Southwest 15th Street. “Literally there are folks here that live off of Sara that are 500 feet, less than that from their backyard,” said Wes McCoy, who is opposed to the venue.

Developers said the project also called for walking trails, a water feature, restaurants and a hotel and would have brought more than 600 jobs to the area and $2.6 billion to the local economy. “It also benefits Canadian County, it benefits the schools, and it makes such a difference for the life out in that side of the city,” Land Developer Carol Hefner had said ahead of Tuesday’s vote.

Councilwoman Barbara Peck said she received more than 1,000 pages of protest letters compared to 90 in support.

“It included shared articles both peer-reviewed and editorials, letters sharing very personal details about your family your friends, pets, our vets, PTSD, autism, and other health conditions and how they feel like those could be impacted,” Peck said during the meeting. “It's been said to me that the opposition here is the loud minority of folks, that most people want the venue, but the numbers don't work out for that from my perspective.”

Those opposed were worried about increased traffic and noise pollution from the concerts. “I live like a mile away and I have two autistic kids with sensory issues so the sound, especially the bass sound vibrations you can't abate that,” said Keith Woodward, who is opposed to the project.

Two people spoke in support of the project but despite that and the city's planning commission unanimously approving the project, city council members voted to deny it. “I just want to thank all the council people that heard our cry and heard our heart,” said Julie McCoy, who lives in the area.

Land developers did not comment on Tuesday’s vote. However, Notes Live, the company that planned to build Sunset Amphitheater, released this statement:

“Notes Live is deeply committed to the city of Oklahoma City and its vibrant community. We respect the political process and appreciate the clarity provided by the recent vote of the city council. Our vision has always been to introduce a state-of-the-art Sunset Amphitheater that enhances the cultural landscape of the area. With the recent approval of our location in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, and our recently announced plans for a significant presence in McKinney, Texas (Dallas/Fort Worth market), Oklahoma City remains a crucial part of our strategic vision for the region. 
In our pursuit of this vision, we carefully considered several sites, guided by a set of definitive criteria that ensure we can be a great neighbor and a valuable part of the community. While we initially believed our chosen site had the potential to meet these criteria, the political process has now led us to consider alternatives. We will be moving quickly to explore alternative sites within the Oklahoma City region for the Sunset Amphitheater, ensuring our commitment to the community and our strategic vision remains steadfast.
We are grateful for the support of the State of Oklahoma throughout this process and are excited to collaborate with future municipalities as we expand our presence. Our commitment to being a great neighbor remains at the core of our business, and we are dedicated to bringing this development forward while meeting the highest standards for positive neighborhood integration. We look forward to continuing our journey in Oklahoma City and bringing our vision of a deluxe amphitheater to life in a location that best serves the community and our company's goals.” 
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