[ back ]
Cooper Park developer requests special permit
Kings Holding Corporation filed for a special permit in September that would allow the company to operate an outdoor amphitheater at the former Cooper Stadium on West Mound Street.
The application hearing is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 22 in the public hearing room, 757 Carolyn Ave., at 6 p.m.
According to the city zoning code, an outdoor amphitheater is defined as an open structure intended to accommodate tiered seating. The developer’s permit states they plan to preserve 8,500 of the site’s original 16,500 tiered seating capacity for spectator events.
George McCue, attorney for Arshot Investment Corporation, has previously said less than one percent of the facility’s time will be spent on spectator car racing.
Kings Holding Corporation works on behalf of Arshot Investment Corporation, which wishes to transform the former baseball stadium and public events venue into an automotive research center and car racing facility.
The new venue, Cooper Park, is estimated to cost around $40 million to develop and will focus around the Center for Automotive Research & Technology. The project is estimated to create 300 jobs.
Columbus City Council voted unanimously to change the stadium’s zoning from rural to commercial on June 27. The redevelopment project has also been supported by organizations like the Southwest Area Commission (SWAC) and the Columbus Development Commission.
Opponents of the project are concerned about loud noise emissions and traffic problems. These residents fear a loud environment would not appeal to other potential developers in the area.
In 2010, Harris Miller Miller & Hanson (HMMH) was hired by Kings Holding Corporation to conduct a sound study around the site. HMMH has previously conducted studies at the Shenandoah Speedway, California Motocross Park and other racing facilities across the U.S.
HMMH measured the existing noise levels in sensitive areas around the stadium, reviewed the city code on ambiance noise, calculated the impact of racing sounds that would be expected during an hour long event and determined what actions would abate the noise.
On May 18, 2010, HMMH reported its findings and concluded that, if the class of car does not change from the developer’s specifications, then with proper noise barriers erected, the noise level would fall in compliance with city ordinances.
According to HMMH, the classes of race car, like stock vehicles or Midgets, being used by the facility produce “significantly lower” noise than those is seen in professional NASCAR races.
In June, the developers agreed to provisions including, constructing a 35 foot sound barrier around the facility and not holding events between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.
In February, a good neighbor agreement was signed with the Southwest Civic Association.
Developers agreed to coordinate schedules with nearby cemeteries, self-police their noise measurements at events and, if found in violation of the city limit in noise decibels, donate up to $20,000 to charitable foundations.
The good neighbor agreement also establishes the newly founded Community Foundation, managed by a director from SWAC, Franklinton Board of Trade and the developer that would fund academic scholarships, vocational training and make public improvements within the Southwest and Franklinton areas.
After attaining all permits and approvals to conduct events at Cooper Park, the developer will fund the foundation with an initial $25,000 donation and 50 cents of each ticket sale.
[ back ]