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Former Ambassador College Campus Could Lose Events and Parking Permit

Loss of permit could mean no more weddings, events on the ground of the former campus

Published on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 | 6:30 am

Officials with the Ambassador College Campus are appealing a decision to revoke its Conditional Use Permit, (CUP) according to a city staff report.

On Monday the City Council postponed a Board of Appeals hearing on the matter. It is not known when the matter will come back before the council.

The CUP allowed weddings, receptions and other events to be held on the property and minor CUPs allowed shared parking with Maranatha High School and the Elk’s Lodge, as well off-street parking.

A hearing officer recommended the revocation of the CUP after finding “there were changed circumstances caused by the applicant, where the findings contained in the original CUP could no longer be made in a positive manner and the public health, safety, and welfare require the revocation. Furthermore, staff determined that the use allowed by the CUP had become detrimental to the public health, safety, and welfare, and the manner of operation is creating a public nuisance.”

In the past events were at four designated locations on the Ambassador College campus: the Merritt Mansion, Terrace Villa, Italian Garden and Fowler Garden.

Merritt Mansion and the Terrace Villa have been sold to separate private parties to be used as residences and the Italian Garden is now part of a recreational open space for an adjacent 39-unit multi-family residential project and under the control of the homeowners association of the multi-family residential development.

Now that those spaces have been sold all events are being held in the Fowler Garden, which has no bathrooms and no kitchen.

“When we first moved in there were large events in the garden almost weekly spring through fall. These were quite inconvienent in terms of refuse left behind and wandering guests during events, to say nothing of the amplified sound coming from the garden,” said Christa Pietzman.

An appeal was filed on the grounds that the campus has been in compliance with all the conditions of approval since the CUP was issue. The appeal also claims the ruling did not meet the stringent standard for revocation of a vested CUP right.

According to a city staff report, the campus has not turned in a monthly list of group events that includes date, time, location, number of attendees and staff, parking location and parking agreement since 2015 which is a violation of the CUP, which calls for that information every month.

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