[Photo by Bhautik Joshi]
The latest development in the never-ending battle over use of the Masonic Center in the Nob Hill neighborhood states that all groups involved have finally reached an agreement. Back in 2008, concert operators Live Nation sought to do some interior upgrades at the auditorium in an effort to increase the number of events held there. The upgrades were approved, but Nob Hill neighborhood groups like the Nob Hill Coalition and the Nob Hill Association freaked out, because of parking congestion and noise pollution. Since then, the Planning Department and Board of Supervisors have worked with Live Nation to make all parities involved happy, but the NHA and the NHC appealed everything. In 2011, the same appellants took the case to the Superior Court, where a judge ruled the upgrades warranted a full environmental review--the kind that can take years and kill a project.
In a press release sent to our inbox, we got word that "Live Nation, the Freemasons of California, the Nob Hill Coalition and the Nob Hill Association have announced an agreement which allows all parties to go forward in harmony." Apparently this agreement has "paved the way" for the Masonic Auditorium to be renovated and hold more events. "After years of contention, I want to thank Nob Hill neighborhood leaders who worked together to craft a solution that will benefit the neighborhood and our City as a whole. Rather than endless land use battles, the agreement will ensure we are investing in the future of Nob Hill," said Board of Supervisors President David Chiu. The key tenets of the agreement include: capping the number of live events to 54 concerts per year with an additional 25 cultural/comedy events per year; controls on alcohol consumption, which really just means less bars and longer lines when you want a drink; reduced rental fees for ethic and cultural live entertainment events; Live Nation and the Masons will make ongoing contributions in support of a new Huntington Park Preservation fund, and most importantly: no opposition to final permit. "The neighborhood associations agree they will no longer contest the issuance of the Conditional Use Permit, ABC License or Building Permit for the Masonic's proposed interior renovations."
· Nob Hill NIMBY Throwdown Over Masonic Center Continues Tomorrow [Curbed SF]
· Footloose [Curbed SF]
· Nob Hill's Masonic Center Cleared for Even More Concert Hordes [Curbed SF]
· Live Nation vs. Nob Hill: Round 4 (Or 5? We Lost Count) [Curbed SF]
· It Has Begun [Curbed SF]