Weyerhaeuser Mansion Event Space Draws Appeals on Both Sides

Sometimes an attempt at a compromise just ends up making nobody happy. That seems to be the case in a recent decision by Tacoma's Hearing Examiner on the old Weyerhaeuser Mansion.

Last month's finding of the Hearing Examiner aimed for a compromise on the event venue, allowing weddings and other events to be held, but setting a number of limitations. Events would be limited to 150 guests with no amplified music, dancing, dining, food service, or beverage service allowed outdoors. To be allowed those 150 guests, Blue Ribbon would have to create on-site parking, and hire private security for all events. Events would have to wrap up by 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and by 8 p.m. other nights of the week - including cleanup time.

Neighbors complain that the ruling doesn't go far enough. According to The News Tribune, they question assumptions around available on-site parking, arguing that the 25 spots assumed as pre-existing is unrealistic, and that an environmental study should be required before the permit can be considered.

Blue Ribbon Cooking, the prospective buyer for the mansion, argues that the rules imposed are too restrictive. According to the TNT, the event company would like to see the hours extended to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, 10 p.m. on Sundays, and 9 p.m. the rest of the week. The company also disputes the need for a security guard at all events, and the requirement that cleanup activities be included in those time limitations, arguing that event cleanup would have no impact on the neighborhood. They also question the complete ban on amplified music, suggesting that volumes could be set so as not to disrupt the neighborhood.

The appeals continue, and so do the events under existing conditions. 

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That place would make for a really cool McMenamins or the like with a bar open until 2 a.m.  Or maybe me and a group of my hippie friends could move in there and make it a decadent commune.  In other words, the estate’s privileged neighbors probably should have thought about how a wedding/party venue with reasonable hours stacks up against other possible uses for the property if their NIMBY effort fails.

July 16, 2014 at 4:26 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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I’m sure they have fantasies of a future where such an estate is once again feasible as a single family residence. Keep out those undesirables and their tacky weddings. Bring back the landed gentry!

July 16, 2014 at 6:23 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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McMenamins would be WONDERFUL!!!  They would 1) take care of the parking issues - like they did at Kennedy School in Portland.  2) deal with sound issues - like they do at all of their sites.  and 3) restore the buildings -  Anyone seen the greenhouse along Stevens?  What an eyesore!

July 20, 2014 at 1:18 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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I have little sympathy for these new tenants, coming in and riling up the neighborhood. They’re in the wrong spot for what they are doing. Go somewhere else.

July 19, 2014 at 4:18 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Low income housing…... North Tacoma needs to suck it up and take it’s fair share of the Great Unwashed. Or just let Blue Ribbon Cooking have marriages/parties there. Honestly, the same sniveling North Enders who are block this today….. will rent the place for their spoiled brat daughter’s wedding next Summer.

July 20, 2014 at 8:04 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Wow!  Most of the comments people are leaving regarding not only the situation at the Weyerhaeuser Mansion but also its neighbors are just sad.  Yes, I am one of the “privileged” people that live by the mansion.  No, one day I don’t think that I will want my “spoiled brat daughter” to have her wedding there. Why should we “suck it up”?  How sad is it that people feel that fighting for a decent neighborhood is wrong.  I find myself wanting to comment out of anger but have decided it isn’t worth the time.  If any of you are interested in what is going on please read the paper, do your research or at least take some pride in your city and what it has to offer.  The history surrounding the mansion is fascinating.  So, now I must go snivel some more and clean up the street because of the wedding that went on last night and all the trash that was left.  Oh…maybe I should hire some of Terry’s “Great Unwashed” to clean up but then that would be admitting we are “privileged” enough to afford paying them.  Hey…maybe Blue Ribbon should hire the “Great Unwashed” to help put on their weddings?

July 20, 2014 at 12:11 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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So, everyone knows that this is a R2 zoned residential neighborhood, right?  That means lots and lots of houses.  This is a giant party house (150 - 250 guests) on a location with 11 parking spots.  Yep, 22 people per car is not a problem.  :)

July 20, 2014 at 1:07 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Clown college. Problem solved.

July 20, 2014 at 1:42 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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How did the neighborhood handle a University there?

July 21, 2014 at 10:25 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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The thing is, they must have only had 12 or so students - why they were not able to sustain the seminary college.  We did get invited to the Tea they held (under NW Baptist Seminary) about 6 years ago.  The building is just wonderful, the organ takes up a huge room.  One of the seminary students played the Harp during the tea - it is something that we still talk about to this day.  After the kidnapping of the youngest Weyerhaeuser, secret passages were built (hidden door in a book case).  The tour was wonderful, and the NWBS president made it clear that any and all were welcome on the grounds.  Fast forward to current conditions - gates are chained and locked.  We did overhear someone saying that they were disappointed that the grounds were closed - great place to watch the 4th of July fireworks.  Yesterday I found several empty beer cans on the street.  Made me sad, but we picked them up.  The property is truly breathtaking - and an ingress portal!  :)

July 21, 2014 at 10:17 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Hmm unfortunate, does seem like an expensive property to manage.  Without a tenant the property will go into disrepair.  Hopefully some sort of middle of the road solution can be reached.

July 22, 2014 at 9:03 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Envy is very unbecoming and is one of the least productive of emotions.  Bertrand Russell said that envy was one of the most potent causes of unhappiness.

Something for you to think about.

July 22, 2014 at 8:57 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Jealousy is both reasonable and belongs to reasonable men, while envy is base and belongs to the base, for the one makes himself get good things by jealousy, while the other does not allow his neighbor to have them through envy.

Envy is an insult to oneself.
Yevgeny Yevtushenko

July 22, 2014 at 9:06 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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