Farrell House proposal moves forward to Camas City Council

Camas Planning Commission recommends special events permit with conditions

The issue of whether to allow special events at the Farrell House will soon be in front of the Camas City Council.

The Camas Planning Commission forwarded a recommendation for approval Aug. 2, involving an application for an unclassified use permit from Farrell House owner Heidi Curley. She has submitted an application for the permit 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 outdoor events per month at the Farrell House from June through August. That could include one major event (not exceeding 80 guests). There would be an overall limit of 36 hours of commercial activity per month.

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

Charlotte Richardson has lived in her home near the Farrell House for 37 years.

“It feels like our town wants to be a city,” she said outside City Hall, following the planning commission’s vote. “I would like to remain a town.

“Money and power talk these days,” Richardson added. “It feels like we are devalued and not heard as a neighborhood. I feel not listened to.”

Alan Stoller and his wife Gwen have lived near the Farrell House for 40 years.

“I’m extremely disappointed,” Alan said regarding the commission’s decision. “Allowing a business into a residential area — that’s our main objection. The noise and traffic from small and large crowds will impact the neighborhood.”

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

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

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 City Council is expected to vote on Curley’s application before the end of next month.