Saturday, May 9, 2015

New Grande Terrace Wedding Venue Permit Hearing Set

Above: This existing tent and supporting structure at 915 and 1007 Deschutes Parkway must be removed by May 11, says the City of Olympia. The tent is not permitted under International Fire Codes.
The city has recommended to a hearing examiner, among other conditions, that the 915 Deschutes Parkway residence and a proposed covered porch have sprinklers if required access for fire trucks cannot be provided to these structures. This shall be determined prior to issuance of building permits, says the city.
By Janine Unsoeld
A new hearing date for the Grande Terrace on Capitol Lake has been set for Thursday, July 30, 9:00 a.m., at Olympia City Hall, says Cari Hornbein, City of Olympia interim principal planner who is handling the land use case.
Hornbein will send out a formal notice for the wedding and event venue’s conditional use permit hearing in late June, so it doesn’t fall off people’s radar,” she said on Friday morning.
The venue had several weddings scheduled throughout spring and summer, but was directed by the city to cancel those events and take down a large, plastic tent because it does not conform to fire codes and other regulations.
The business, located at 915 and 1007 Deschutes Parkway SW near downtown Olympia, does not have a permit to operate. The operator, Bart Zier, requested a conditional use permit from the city for the rental of a residence for wedding and social events. The property is located in an area zoned single family residential and the city has recommended denial of the conditional use permit application to a hearing examiner.
Right Business, Wrong Location
Little Hollywood has contacted three brides-to-be with upcoming weddings scheduled at Grande Terrace, including one scheduled for August.
One is glad that she is out of the contract she signed with Grande Terrace, and just received a full refund from venue operator Bart Zier for her September wedding. The young bride-to-be, already informed of the Grande Terrace debacle, was contacted by Zier two days ago to see if she would like to switch her wedding to his other venue, Grand Holiday Ballroom, on Fourth Avenue.

She did not.

“I feel like I was tricked….I never would have signed the contract if I had known about these code violations. I was not happy to hear the extent of it. I told him I had no faith that he would be open by September and now that I know about all these violations, I’d be embarrassed to have my wedding in the wrong location,” said the life-long Olympia resident, who did not want to be identified.
Another young bride-to-be wasn’t so lucky. Her wedding was scheduled to occur at Grande Terrace at the end of this month, and thanked Little Hollywood for contacting her. She said Zier contacted her on May 5 and was unclear about why she needed to move her wedding location.
She allowed Little Hollywood to share her story, if she wasn’t identified, in hopes that it helps others who may have their weddings or events scheduled there.
“Thank you for reaching out to me regarding this issue. Bart has just contacted me about the news. I actually did some research and found your articles….They were much more informative than Bart was, however he has offered to have the wedding take place at the Grand Holiday Ballroom with discounts and compensation for the inconvenience. This matter has been completely unprofessional and I wish I had been notified more than 26 days before the wedding takes place - that way, I could have researched my own venues and booked another. I was able to negotiate discounts with Bart but I never would have selected the Grande Terrace if I had known this was occurring.
“Thank you so much for taking it in your hands to reach out to others concerning this issue, especially for those who may not have been notified yet.”
Little Hollywood wishes all brides-to-be and their families the very best in life and believes everyone loves a wedding.
For previous articles about the Grande Terrace on Capitol Lake, go to Little Hollywood, and use the search button to type in key words.