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Public Hearing Tackles Proposed Arroyo Seco Music and Arts Festival at City Council Meeting Monday

Published on Sunday, April 3, 2016 | 9:17 am

Pasadena’s proposed Arroyo Seco Music And Arts Festival will take center stage Monday as the City Council considers recommendations related to the festival’s Environmental Impact Report and to a proposal to amend the Pasadena Municipal Code to increase the number of displacement events in the Arroyo Seco and clarify permitted uses.

As recommended by the City Attorney and the Rose Bowl Operating Company (RBOC), the City Council will conduct a public hearing on the proposal to adopt a resolution certifying the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) for the proposed music and arts festival, and another proposal to authorize the RBOC General Manager to finalize negotiations and enter into a License Agreement with Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) to produce the Festival.

The Council will then conduct first reading of an ordinance amending the Pasadena Municipal Code Section 3.32 – the Arroyo Seco Public Lands Ordinance – to increase the number of displacement events at the site without requiring further approval of the City Council.

The amendment would also allow amplified sound and increased uses on the Brookside Golf Course to accommodate the proposed festival.

Talks about the Arroyo Seco Music and Arts Festival started in 2012 when RBOC’s Board of Directors acknowledged that the future of the Rose Bowl – especially its long-term financial stability – would be challenged by a number of factors, including increased local and regional competition by similar venues. The Board said then that a particular and pressing concern was the funding of future capital improvements for the historic stadium’s upkeep.

In 2013, the RBOC sought to identify and reliable revenue stream and targeted an annual music and arts festival as a potential revenue-generating opportunity. After contacting some of the top music festival producers in the country and conducting extensive interviews, the RBOC identified AEG as the preferred partner.

RBOC is now seeking authorization for its General Manager, Darryl Dunn, to enter into a license agreement of up to 20 years with AEG.

In an Agenda Report for the Mayor and the City Council for Monday’s meeting, Dunn said the festival is projected to generate between $90 million and $106 million over the proposed 20-year period, which could begin with a first two- to three-day festival in 2017.

“The revenues are critical to help stabilize the RBOC operating budget, currently at $40 million annually, in addition to funding future capital improvements for the stadium, which, through 2020, are projected to cost approximately $19 million,” Dunn wrote in the report. “An Economic Impact Study of the festival projected a total of $385 million in potential overall economic benefits to the City over the life of the festival. The festival will also generate jobs for Pasadena residents. While the exact number of Pasadena residents who will work at the festival cannot be estimated at this time, Rose Bowl events in 2015 created more than 600 jobs for Pasadena residents overall.”

Dunn is expected to present the details of the license agreement at the public hearing starting at 6:45 p.m. Monday, while the City Attorney will present an explanation of the amendments necessary to the Pasadena Municipal Code, and the details of the music and arts festival’s Final Environmental Impact Report.

Other items in the City Council’s agenda for Monday include a recommendation from the Pasadena Police Department, through the Public Safety Committee, to enter into a contract with the California Highway Patrol for supplemental law enforcement services for the 2017 New Year’s activities in the city, and recommendation for the City Council to adopt an amended resolution about reporting Employer Paid Member Contributions for the city’s safety employees.

The Pasadena City Council meets at the Council Chamber, Room S249 of the Pasadena City Hall at 100 N. Garfield Avenue.

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