Ventura releases report on proposed concert series

By Chris O'Neal 05/01/2014


The city of Ventura has released a draft environmental impact report (DEIR) for the concert series proposed for the parking lot behind City Hall sometime in 2014 or 2015.

Local promoter Mark Hartley proposed the downtown concert series and, with it, an amendment to the noise ordinance that would allow for the series to exceed the current maximum allowable decibels.

The report reveals that while the concert series would “cause temporary disturbance to nearby residences” and would have a “significant and unavoidable impact,” the amendment would only apply to that year and not to any subsequent events, which would require resubmission and going through the process of approval once again.

This report follows a study from the summer of 2013 that found the concert series would likely not be able to comply with city noise ordinances.

The concert series met with unanimous approval in 2012 when the City Council gave the go-ahead for Nederlander Concerts, in partnership with Mark Hartley and the Ventura Botanical Gardens, to move forward with the project. Concerns raised at the time referenced a fire hazard zone, which the proposed site sits in the middle of. A fire protection engineer and the fire department would need to deem the site safe before plans could move forward.

The concert series could feature 12 national touring acts inside of a 20,000-square-foot tent with capacity of up to 1,900 people. The proposed amendment to the noise ordinance would allow the concert series to exceed the limits only during the concert, and would impose an upper limit of 95 decibels. A strict curfew of 10 p.m. was given to the concert at the 2012 City Council meeting.

Public comments can be submitted prior to May 27, by 5 p.m., after which the Planning Commission will hold public hearings, slated for sometime later this summer. Send comments to Lilly Rudolph, AICP, senior planner at the city of San Buenaventura, Community Development Department, 501 Poli St., room 218, P.O. Box 99, Ventura 93002, or by email to


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