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Costa Mesa : Fair Board Backs Bill to Limit Concert Noise

In the latest round of a dispute between Costa Mesa and the Pacific Amphitheatre over loud concerts at the open-air arena, the Orange County Fair Board has voted to support a special state bill calling for a 70-decibel limit on noise.

State Sen. John Seymour (R-Anaheim) is sponsoring the bill which would make the 18,000-seat arena, located on the Orange County Fairgrounds, subject to the City of Costa Mesa’s noise ordinance. That law carries penalties up to $1,000 or six months in jail, said City Atty. Tom Wood.

Since the state owns the fairgrounds property, the city has no power to control the noise in the face of numerous complaints from residents living in the area. Wood said some noise readings taken during concerts exceeded 70 decibels, although he didn’t have exact figures available.

Fair board spokeswoman Jill Lloyd noted that the 5-3 endorsement of Seymour’s bill included a recommendation that the legislation cover only the amphitheater and not other events on the fairgrounds such as speedway motorcycle racing or the annual fair.

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The legislation is due before the Senate Agricultural and Water Resources subcommittee this week.


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