Masonic Center neighbors appeal for fewer live events 

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  • SF Examiner file photo

When the Nob Hill Masonic Center announced it would be having many more evening events, neighbors were not happy. Now, the Board of Supervisors is expected to weigh in todayTuesday at an appeal hearing in which those neighbors are asking to revert back to the number of live entertainment held a decade ago.

The Masonic Center, which is operated by Live Nation, was granted a conditional-use permit in January to hold 68 live events and 219 large evening events a year, which is a 25 percent increase over previous use. That increase is based on average annual use between 2002 and 2007.

But resident David Harmer, vice president of public affairs for the Nob Hill Association, says the Masonic Center historically has only had between 25 and 30 live shows annually.

“Their version on historical use isn’t accurate,” Harmer told The San Francisco Examiner. “The city Planning Commission actually stated they are entitled to give a 25 percent increase in use, which they’re not.”

The group’s main concern is that it says the permit will be used to justify an intensified use of the building.

Harmer said neighbors are not looking to close the Masonic Center, but instead would like to keep the number of live events at 30 or fewer.

“You can’t drive a car, park or get into your own home when there are events,” Harmer said. “Emergency services can’t get in the area and the cable cars have all kinds of confusion.”

Jessica Berg of Berg Davis Public Affairs, which represents Live Nation, said the events include comedians, concerts, graduations and corporate events.

“Hopefully the Board of Supervisors agrees with the Planning Commission that this venue should continue to be active and thrive for many more years to come,” Berg said.

akoskey@sfexaminer.com

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