The LLC that owns Lost Lakes Amphitheater east of downtown Oklahoma City has now hired experienced metro attorney Eric Groves.
He has sent a protest to the City of Oklahoma City concerning a possible ordinance change introduced by Ward 7 Councilman John Pettis in the May 16 council meeting.
If passed, the change would put Lost Lakes at a financial risk because of commitments they made based on a unanimous council decision in April.
Groves’ letter cites the U.S. Constitution and Oklahoma Constitution in suggesting that if passed, the proposal would infringe upon Lost Lakes’ rights to “substantive due process” and “equal protection” under the 14th Amendment. (See the letter at the end of the story.)
City staff are concerned enough that they have written an internal memo recommending discussion of the potential legal action in the next executive session of the Oklahoma City Council Tuesday, May 30.
Free Press has obtained a copy of that memo.Kenneth Jordan memo for 5-30
If passed, the proposal would limit Lost Lakes Amphitheater, 3501 NE 10th, to only three concerts per year to be held on Fridays, Saturdays and legal holidays only and to end by 11 p.m. each day.
The change was proposed less than 30 business days after the council’s April 11 meeting concluding yearlong negotiations between city staff and members of the LLC.
A unanimous vote in that session established a new PUD (planned unit development) that would allow unlimited concerts anywhere at Lost Lakes without having to pull permits for each event.
At the April 11 council meeting Pettis made the motion and joined the other members in a unanimous vote to establish the new PUD.
But Pettis has had second thoughts about it since.
“I have received a number of complaints about Lost Lakes from residents,” said Pettis.
He said residents in nearby neighborhoods have complained to him about intrusive sound coming from concerts at the venue.
But Roger Skeen and son Garrett Skeen, members of the LLC who run the day-to-day operations of the park, say they worked hard to develop a good relationship with the city and negotiated for a year in good faith.
Now, the new proposal threatens to bring financial harm to Lost Lakes.
“They told us we could do it and we waited to implement all the contracts until we got the city’s blessing,” Garrett Skeen told Free Press. “We signed all the contracts and now they’re trying to take it away. Which puts us financially at risk.”
We asked Groves if this represented a sudden shift for the City of Oklahoma City.
“The city is not making a shift. Councilman Pettis is trying to get the city to make a shift,” said Groves. “But that’s not going to occur.”
Watch Free Press for further developments.Groves to Brummitt