TicketNetwork Shed Denied

A city planning and zoning commission in Vernon, Conn., recently voted down an amphitheatre proposal submitted earlier this year by TicketNetwork.

Commissioners voted 5-2 March 11 to deny the company’s plans to build the TicketNetwork Forest venue, a nine-acre development that would sit on a 37-acre parcel of commercially zoned land in Vernon, according to the Hartford Courant.

The company had planned to build a shed that would accommodate an average 1,390 concert attendees and host roughly 20 concerts per year during the summer season, but faced intense opposition from many local residents.

Vernon Citizens for Responsible Development, a group that created a Web site lambasting the project, raised several issues regarding noise, traffic, environmental impacts and property values.

VCRD’s site also questioned whether TicketNetwork had plans to grow the venue and summer series in future years.

“It’s the nature of corporations to start small and expand,” the group wrote. “The application addresses plans for the summer of 2010, but it’s likely that TicketNetwork will be back in following years asking for just a little more each time. More concerts per year, more parking, longer hours and who knows what else.

“There is a covenant in place for tax purposes that requires that much of the site be forested until 2016. Then what? That’s a lot of room to expand. TicketNetwork has also made offers to buy a neighbor’s large undeveloped property.”

Needless to say, many locals lauded the planning and zoning commission decision.

“It’s a good victory for us,” one resident told the Courant. “But it’s only one battle of the war.”

TicketNetwork still has an option to appeal the decision.

The project found several supporters in the local chamber of commerce, hotels and business owners. TicketNetwork predicts the venue could create more than 70 seasonal jobs in the community.

In a statement, CEO Don Vaccaro expressed the company’s disappointment, promising to “continue to explore opportunities to grow” TicketNetwork.