NORTH OGDEN (News4Utah) -This small Weber County city is building a new amphitheater in Barker Park which they say will be a great outdoor setting for concerts and plays but nearby neighbors are furious about the potential problems that could come with it.
Artist renderings on the North Ogden website show a massive stage and enough lawn seating for thousands at the new Barker Park Amphitheater but homeowners near the park worry about the noise, traffic, parking problems, trash and crime that could come with big events.
“This is just a local small neighborhood so why do you want to put something like this in?” resident Scott McKay asked. “It kind of blows my mind.”
Kim Christensen and her family live across the street from the park.
“The first thing we were concerned about: the noise because we had problems with the smaller amphitheater and they didn’t have amplification or anything like that. Now they’re putting speakers in,” Christensen said. “It would keep my kids up at night with the Battle of the Bands and the movies in the park. We could hear them right in their bedrooms. They’d come in my room and say ‘I can’t fall asleep’.”
As crews continue to work you can certainly see why neighbors are concerned about noise and crowds because there are houses just about 400 feet away from the stage.
North Ogden Mayor Brent Taylor is currently deployed in Afghanistan with the National Guard but in a video on the city website he says the amphitheater will bring the community together.
“I promise tens of thousands of people will turn out every spring and summer to enjoy the shows that are going to be coming and the performances,” Mayor Taylor says in the video. “It’s going to be a gem for our community. I give you my word. Please just give it a chance to work out.”
Neighbors now have an online petition to stop construction and let the voters decide.
“I was just shocked and upset and angry about the process that went through to get this to go through,” McKay told News4Utah. “With the amount of money involved as a taxpayer, I think something like that should have been something we could have voted on as citizens to say if we wanted it or not.”
“They keep telling us its too late, that we started this and we can’t stop it,” Christensen said. “I say you’re wrong. If the community doesn’t want this the community needs to stop it with us.”
For more information on the Barker Park Amphitheater go to http://www.northogdencity.com/government/arts-amphitheater-committee.
For more information on the opposition effort and the petition go to https://www.noamph.com/.