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Zoning Code Change Allows Special Permit for Outdoor Concerts

The Rock Creek Amphitheater lot sits empty March 2, 2016.

Heather Kennison, Times-News

TWIN FALLS • A zoning code change could create a special permit for outdoor concerts in Old Towne Twin Falls.

The City Council approved the amendment Feb. 22 following a request from Mammoth Sound, a Utah-based production company that hosted several outdoor concerts in Twin Falls last year. The ordinance for the zoning code change will come before Council on Monday.

If passed, property owners in the Old Towne zone would be able to request a special use permit for outdoor music, concerts or theatrical productions, Twin Falls Planner Jonathan Spendlove said. The area is generally between Fifth Street South, Minidoka Avenue, Jerome Street and Third Avenue South, he said.

“It’s really a lot of work for these concerts,” Mammoth Sound owner Mark Gallegos said.

Last summer, Gallegos’ company brought in three concerts to the Rock Canyon Amphitheater, 245 Fifth Ave. S. Organizers are planning more for this year.

“We’re hoping to do at least four to six national acts,” Gallegos said. “We’re also looking to bring in Latino bands as well.”

Once Mammoth Sound applies for the special use permit, it must go to a public hearing before it can be approved. If granted, his company would have more flexibility with scheduling, he said.

Special use permits may be approved with conditions, Spendlove said. Furthermore, if neighboring property owners have concerns later, they can approach the planning and zoning commission.

“Those property owners have recourse to bring it back to the commissioners,” he said.

Additional conditions may be added.

Renee Carraway-Johnson, zoning and development manager, said Mammoth Sound’s concerts have met past requirements from the city. Gallegos said his company kept noise levels down and hired police surveillance as a precaution.

“They want to invest in our community and be able to have outdoor events that would draw people downtown,” Carraway-Johnson said.

Dan Hadley, a sales clerk at neighboring business Red’s Trading Post, said the concerts didn’t have any affect on his business, and organizers did a good job cleaning up after attendees.

“It was great,” Hadley said. “It brought people downtown.”

Mammoth Sound hosts events throughout the Western states.

“We decided Twin Falls is a big enough place,” he said. “It’s a perfect routing point between Boise and Salt Lake.”

Last summer, Restless Heart, Great White and Royal Bliss performed. This year, Gallegos has had conversations with talents such as Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Neal McCoy and Bret Michaels, but hasn’t scheduled shows.

The property has a lawn and trees, and concert-goers can bring their own lawn chairs. Gallegos said the biggest concert so far was Great White, which attracted 600 people.

“Our ticket prices are going to average probably around the $30 mark,” he said.

Food and beverage vendors will be present. The lot may also be a venue for weddings and other events, Gallegos said.

So far, Gallegos said he’s received nearly double the calls as last year for entertainment.


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