A neighborhood group unhappy with The City’s decision to allow an increased number of concerts at the Nob Hill Masonic Center has filed a lawsuit to halt the change and require an environmental impact report.
The Nob Hill Association said the conditional-use permit authorized by the Planning Commission, then supported by the Board of Supervisors, to increase nighttime events by 25 percent was done so mistakenly.
“The application submitted by the Masonic Temple, which they call historic and nonconforming uses, was based on improper calculation,” said the association’s attorney, Anne Morrison. “NHA has significant detailed evidence of entertainment and events at the temple. We believe the improper calculations allow them to intensify the use, and it will have adverse impacts on the environment.”
The suit, filed Monday, seeks a city-conducted environmental report on the increase in events and further review of the historical-use records.
The permit in question was approved in January by the Planning Commission to allow Live Nation — a concert promoter — to hold 68 live and 219 large evening events annually at the Masonic Center.
It was appealed in March to the Board of Supervisors, which compromised with five of six neighborhood groups to reduce the numbers to 54 live and 176 nighttime events. But the Nob Hill Association was not part of the agreement.
The association said historically the center has hosted only 25 to 30 live shows.
The City Attorney’s Office declined to comment.
David Harmer, vice president of public affairs for the association, said the organization’s disagreement is with the California Masons.
“For an organization that does some good work nationally, the Masons on Nob Hill are an organization that places its own profits before community and the Masons will need to work very hard indeed to rehabilitate themselves as being worthy of the neighborhoods trust again,” Harmer said.