Onondaga County Legislature Approves Environmental Study for Lakeshore Amphitheater

Apr 1, 2014

The idea of an amphitheater on the shores of Onondaga Lake has taken one step  (if not toward construction, at least toward seeing if it’s feasible).  County lawmakers approved on Tuesday beginning the environmental review process.

Rendering for a proposed amphitheater on Onondaga Lake's western shore.
Credit Scott Willis, WAER News

 Legislator Mike Plochocki expresses support for the project and concern for the location on waste beds in Solvay.  “It’s pretty much being built on a very polluted site to say the least.  As such, we’re now saying we believe this needs to be reviewed to the highest order because given all the pollution there, there could potentially be risks to human health and the environment,” he said.

This environmental review is happening before the development has been approved. But Plochocki defends the study, especially if it finds pollution concerns.  And, he added, the county wants to eventually build something there, meaning the study won't be a wasted effort.    

 “So even in, kind of, the doomsday scenario of the environmental quality review act comes back and says oh this is terrible you don’t want to build an amphitheater there, that will help us decide what is the most cost-feasible use for this site,” he said.

The review process would also allow for a public comment period.  There’s $30 million reported in the state budget to help finance the amphitheater and park.    The venue would hold concerts and other events, while improving public access to the lakeshore on the west side.