Concert amphitheater proposed for downtown Sparks

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SPARKS, Nev. (KOLO) - More entertainment may be coming to Sparks. City officials have been working with a developer on plans to build a new outdoor concert site.

Once this plan is approved by the Sparks City Council, some fear there will be a significant impact to parking, sanitation, appearance, lighting, and most concerning to some, amplified sound in Victorian Square.

In the last few years, Victorian Square has drastically changed with the addition of several apartment buildings and the demolition of the Bourbon Square Casino.

"When we first moved here it was nothing but concrete, just one big parking lot."

Peter Seed moved to downtown Sparks three years ago.

"We were actually one of the first buildings converted from a motel or a hotel to a six-story apartment building."

The Bourbon Square Casino used to be his view from his balcony; now there's nothing but rubble. The City of Sparks is considering a plan that would turn the demolition site into a nearly-9,000-seat outdoor amphitheater.

Current plans limit the number of large events held at the concert site to ten per year, not including pre-existing special events such as the Best In the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off and Hot August Nights.

Seed says despite choosing the area because it was quiet, he's not opposed to the increase in noise that the amphitheater would bring to Victorian Square.

"No, not at all. I think progress is good for Sparks. Particularly in this area, I think it's going to bring a lot of great businesses in. Hopefully we will have a great coffee shop or two, maybe a diner or something like that, so it just gives us more options."

Although amplified sound doesn’t concern Seed, it has been a major concern for city staff. Throughout the month of December, the project developer, along with the city and the owner of a residential property near the concert site, conducted acoustic studies and compared their findings.

Based on the initial results, the city decided more time was needed to allow the developer the opportunity to come up with a design that would have the least amount of noise impact on residents. If approved, the next sound neighbors could hear is more construction.

The developer will go before the Sparks Planning Commission on January 3, 2019 at 6 p.m. and commissioners will provide a recommendation to city council. On a later date, the city council will decide the fate of this project.

For notes from the council and developer click here.