Music in Metropolitan Park plays on

City Council withdraws ordinance to ban ticketed concerts at park

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The music will play on in Jacksonville's Metropolitan Park, at least for now. The City Council shot down an ordinance Tuesday night that was set to ban ticketed concerts at the park.

The ordinance stemmed from complaints in surrounding neighborhoods. After hearing from both concerned residents and concert supporters Tuesday night, Councilman Don Redman, who sponsored the ordinance, moved to withdraw it. Redman and the entire council thought it was best to hold off on making a decision.

The vote came at the end of nearly an hour of discussion about the ordinance, which would have cut the 12 ticketed concerts at the park.

"Only in the last several years have I realized that the noise has increased, and when they say about walls shaking, I can't say that the walls have been shaking in my house, but it's like the concert is in my house," said Lyn Corley.

It's a sentiment echoed by Janine Balanky, who said she enjoys music, but admits a compromise has to be made.

"It doesn't matter to me. I like live entertainment. I go to live entertainment, but it's just the length of time and the loudness. If it weren't so loud, I guess it wouldn't matter to me how long it went on either," said Balanky.

The people behind the events had a different angle to present to the council Monday night. Several promoters, including Danny Wimmer, stated their case.

Wimmer promotes "Welcome to Rockville," which comes to Metro Park in April. As a Jacksonville native, Wimmer said bringing events to Metropolitan Park will only help the city grow.

"If you come in here and you go to the restaurant and you tip to the waitress and that waitress buys gas, that gas turns around and you do something with the money. And were selling (up to) 1,000 hotel rooms. Now that we're going to two days, it will increase the impact to this city," said Wimmer.

While Wimmer's happy the city council made the decision to start over on the issue, he's looking forward to a solution that will make everyone happy.

"I'm concerned for the neighbors. We're here to try to work something out with them, and it seems like we're going to find a compromise," said Wimmer.

The council said it is planning to put together a committee in the near future to explore how they can deal with this issue and come to a resolution.

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