Camas Planning Commission recommends Farrell House special events permit

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While some communities were gathering Tuesday to celebrate “National Night Out,” more than 30 local residents were filling the council chambers at Camas City Hall.

They were there to hear whether the Camas Planning Commission would forward a recommendation for approval, involving an application for an unclassified use permit from Heidi Curley, owner of the Farrell House.

She submitted an application for the permit in April with the hope of holding catered special events such as weddings and receptions, anniversary celebrations and tea parties on her property located at 416 N.E. Ione St.

The Planning Commission voted 3 to 1, in favor of forwarding a recommendation for approval, with conditions. The conditions include not allowing noise levels to exceed 55 decibels during special events.

Outdoor events must be concluded by 9 p.m., and indoor events must end by 10 p.m. Installation of temporary tents and other equipment must be installed no sooner than 24 hours before the event and removed no later than 24 hours after the festivities.

If the City Council approves the Planning Commission’s recommendation, there would be a limit of four events per month at the Farrell House from June through August. That could include one major event (not exceeding 80 guests) and three minor events (with 30 or fewer guests).

Planning Commissioners David Shepherd, Troy Hull and Bryan Beel voted for the recommendation, while Judy Hooper cast the lone “no” vote.

“It will be materially detrimental to the neighborhood, to have events of a food service nature,” Hooper said after the meeting. “I’m not convinced they will be able to control the noise.

“I do not think this business is right for this neighborhood,” she added.

Following the vote, Curley said the commission’s recommendation was “great news.”

“I look forward to the City Council meeting,” she said.

Curley said it is unfortunate that the permit application process has turned into a negative situation with her neighbors.

She and her three daughters plan to move from Washougal into the Farrell House this month.

It was built in 1915.

“It is a historical building,” Curley said. “I want to share what we are lucky to have.”

The Camas City Council is expected to vote on Curley’s application before the end of September.

Additional information and comments will be included in the Aug. 9 print edition of the Post-Record.