City of Tacoma limits events held at historic North End mansion

Staff writerJune 16, 2014 

In an attempt to both answer neighbors' complaints about disruptive party-goers and loud events and to allow an adaptive use of an historic structure, the City of Tacoma has issued a limited special use permit for the North End's former Weyerhaeuser mansion.

The permit will allow events attended by up to 150 persons to be held in the Tudor style mansion on North Stevens Street if the prospective owners expand parking on the site, hire security personnel and require the events to end at 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights and 8 p.m. on other nights of the week.

Until the additional parking is built and a wall and landscaping erected to shield a residence north of the mansion from the noise of the events, events will be limited to 57 attendees, the city said.

Blue Ribbon Cooking School of Seattle has contracted to buy the mansion subject to its winning permission to hold events at the massive home with a panoramic view of Commencement Bay.

The Cooking School owners were not immediately available for comment Monday.

A large group of neighbors in the high-end neighborhood surrounding the mansion had complained that events held at the mansion last summer were using up all of the streetside parking in the neighborhood, keeping them awake at night with noise and disrupting their lives with loud conversations and arguments.

The mansion is owned by Corban University which has used the residence and surrounding structures for decades as a divinity school. The university, however, wants to move and cut costs.

The permit issued by the city limits dining, dancing and alcohol service to inside the facility. No music may be amplified on the mansion grounds, only inside.

Modifications to the building and its parking are subject to approval by the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission.

Both sides in the dispute have the right to appeal the permit issuance to the city's hearings examiner if they request that appeal by June 30.

The hearings examiner's ruling is subject to appeal to Superior Court. Both the cooking school and the neighborhood group have already hired attorneys, but neither indicated Monday whether they intend to appeal.

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