VANCOUVER, WA-An 18,000-seat amphitheater planned for Clark County Fairgrounds is closer to construction this week thanks to a ruling by the Washington Court of Appeals. In a decision written by Judge J. Dean Morgan, the court dismissed opponents’ claims that the facility would violate noise ordinances.

Amphitheater developer Q Prime Inc. contended, and Judge Morgan agreed, that the state exempts officially sanctioned public events from such regulations, and that using this facility would constitute a public event. Opponents disagree, and may appeal the ruling to the state Supreme Court.

If the Supreme Court refuses to hear the case, it would clear the way for the $10-million project. New York-based Q Prime plans to build the amphitheater on 134 acres of county-owned fairground land north of Vancouver, deed it to the county and then lease it back for $23 million over 25 years.

Q Prime wants to bring 40 top acts a year to Clark County between May and October as a rest stop between major venues in California and the famous Gorge at George amphitheater in Eastern Washington. Q Prime also is maneuvering to build amphitheaters in Minneapolis and New York City. Q Prime clients include Metallica, Def Leppard, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Stone Temple Pilots.

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