Suit Filed To Stop Masonic Upgrades

The battle of San Francisco’s Nob Hill was ratcheted up yet another notch April 23 when one neighborhood group battling Live Nation and the Masonic Center Auditorium filed suit in Superior Court to stop planned upgrades and additional concerts.

And when it looked like the venue and promoter had the upper hand with approvals by the city’s planning commission and zoning administrator, the Nob Hill Association managed to place two items on the board of supervisors’ agenda appealing a conditional use permit and contesting the lack of an environmental impact report, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Both sides in the dispute accuse the other of failing to communicate.

“The neighbors have indicated that they have no intention of negotiating any further,” Live Nation spokeswoman Evette Davis told the paper. A call to Live Nation S.F. for further comment wasn’t returned.

“Live Nation made absolutely no attempt to reach out to the neighbors until they suddenly got it in their minds that they might lose,” Nob Hill Association’s David Harmer said.

Reps for Live Nation, which has a long-term lease with the Masonic Center, have been meeting with neighbors for 16 months and had worked out a deal with city planners to make upgrades to the facility’s sound system, seating, stage and parking. A 41-point set of conditions was agreed upon to cover concerns about patron parking, truck parking and security.

The city’s zoning administrator approved permits allowing the renovations to proceed, according to S.F. Weekly, and the neighborhood group filed its suit – which could take months to be resolved. In the meantime, the board is to hold a hearing May 4 to reconsider environmental impacts of the project.