Nob Hill neighbors continue to go after Masonic Center

A neighborhood group opposing increased use of the Nob Hill Masonic Center filed a cease and desist order this week to stop the venue from hosting events until an environmental review is completed.

If the order is not complied with by Friday, the Nob Hill Association will file a lawsuit.

“They’re almost certainly going to ignore us,” said David Harmer, vice president of public affairs for the association. “The City is allowing and encouraging them to be so devious. We feel we’ve got no choice.”

The association even claims that a judge in April 2011 ordered operations to cease until an environmental report was completed.

The Masonic Temple received a permit this past January to allow Live Nation, a concert promoter, to hold 68 live events and 219 large evening events at the center.

Neighborhood groups appealed to the Board of Supervisors in March, and a compromise with five of the six groups dropped the permit to 54 live events and 176 nighttime events. The Nob Hill Association was not a part of that agreement.

The association said that historically, 25 to 30 live shows have been held at the center. A lawsuit was filed last month saying the increase requires an environmental review before approval.

Harmer said a lawsuit will be filed next week if the organization is not compliant.

Despite the protests and pending lawsuits, the Entertainment Commission approved Live Nation’s permit. The permit has been granted previously at the California Street venue.

According to Matt Prieshoff, chief operating officer for Live Nation, it’s permitted to hold concerts, stand-up comedy and other evening events in the 3,200-seat venue.

akoskey@sfexaminer.com

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