Concert site plan last option: mayor
If Charlottetown council doesn't approve construction of an outdoor concert site near the Hillsborough River, it is unlikely another location can be found, says Mayor Clifford Lee.
Lee made the comments following a public meeting Tuesday packed with people from the local neighbourhood, most of them opposed to a plan to build an outdoor amphitheatre on old Imperial Oil tank farm land.
"I'm not sure there is another location in the City of Charlottetown that's available for a concert site," Lee told CBC News after the meeting.
"So if this doesn't fly with council, then I suspect the next decision council is making at the same time is that we're out of the business of outdoor concerts."
About 50 people filled the public gallery in council chambers for the meeting, with others sitting on the floor or standing in the hallway outside.
No one was disputing the need for an outdoor concert venue in Charlottetown. Others supporting fixing up the old tank farm land, which is polluted with oil that leaked into the soil over the years. But few were happy with the prospect of the noise that would come from a concert site.
Doug MacDonald lives on Beach Street, which would back onto a 500-space parking lot proposed for the concert venue.
"I'm adamantly opposed to it. It's in my backyard and I invite you to come down to my backyard and come on in and have a look at how close it is," said MacDonald.
"We're real people that live in real houses. Some people down there don't mind it. A lot of people do."
Mark Carr-Rollit is director of operations for Tourism Charlottetown, which would be a major client of the site. He cautioned people to put the use of the venue in perspective. "We did a rough calculation in the back there and based on the schedule we have now there would probably be about 25 to 30 days of use, and of those 25 to 30 days of use, you'd probably have maybe five or six where you'd have a performance level of noise," said Carr-Rollit.
City councillors are expecting to have this proposal in front of them for a vote on Monday afternoon. If it is approved, it will still be three years before the site is ready.