Phone support for amphitheater not in evidence at Grove City meeting

The Columbus Dispatch – September 29, 1992

A telephone survey found support among Jackson Township residents for an amphitheater proposed for Beulah Park in Grove City.

A citizens advisory committee also approved, if such conditions as traffic controls, a management agreement and a safety plan are met.

But 15 out of 20 speakers at a special City Council meeting last night spoke against the proposed $9 million amphitheater.

”I think some people were afraid to speak out” for the plan, Grove City resident Jim Angus said after the meeting. He was one of three people speaking in favor; two others were neutral but offered suggestions to improve the plan.

Marty Saperstein of Saperstein Associates said a random survey of 500 residents of the township, which includes Grove City, between Sept. 4 and 17 found that 48 percent favored the amphitheater, 28 percent opposed it and 24 percent had no opinion. Of those, 22 percent strongly favored the outdoor concert venue, and 18 percent strongly opposed it.

In the West Grove subdivision, a housing development west of Beulah Park, 68 percent opposed the proposed amphitheater.

To be named Woodland Music Center, it would have seating for up to 20,000 people and would be in the northeast corner of Beulah Park.

The 11-member advisory committee formed by Mayor R.L. ”Ike” Stage ”overwhelmingly” approved of the amphitheater, Chairman Lou Altomare said.

However, two committee members, Mike Henson and Jan Cannon, spoke against the proposal.

”I do feel to protect the community there should be ordinances and agreements in writing,” Altomare said.

”We’ll make adjustments to have a much-improved situation that you (the council) can approve,” said Charles Ruma, Beulah Park owner and developer of the music center.

Urbancrest resident Helen Walker Craig asked, ”Why should the city of Grove City take away my rights as a private citizen?” She said the noise and possible traffic congestion would invade her privacy.

”I want to protect and preserve my quality of life,” said West Grove subdivision resident Traci Nawrocki, who also opposed the plan.

”We don’t need businessmen who do not live in our community to tell us what our quality of life is,” said her husband, Dale Nawrocki.