Oak Hill Cemetery by Ontheborderland.
Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:
Filed under The Morning Metropolitan
Tagged as Evermay, Hyde-Addison
Is it true that restrictions on the new owner’s right to use Evermay as a de facto party venue/event center helped depress the price and extend the market period? Is it also true that the same restrictions now apply to Tudor Place, to its considerable financial detriment?
It’s a little more complicated than that. As I understand it, you need to be a non profit to rent out your house for parties on a routine basis. That’s how Dumbarton House and Tudor Place operate. Harry Belin tried to set up a foundation in order to call Evermay a non-profit, but the Zoning Commission didn’t buy it (I think the beneficiaries were in the Carribean somewhere). So I don’t know what effect that had on the price. There’s nothing stopping an owner from hosting lots of parties though. They just can’t charge for it.
I also know that Tudor Place operates under a zoning variance that needs to get re-approved occassionally. I don’t think the restrictions on Tudor Place have changed recently. They have some odd restrictions, like that they can host a wedding, and host parties, but can’t host a wedding and a reception. But again, that’s been in place for a while. I don’t know if Dumbarton House also operates under a variance, but I would assume so, since even without the parties, the use of the building as an museum and group headquarters is non-conforming.
The mystery to me is Halcyon House. That is privately owned by an individual not a non-profit, yet they rent out for parties. Maybe it’s just that the neighbors of Evermay complained and the neighbors of Halcyon House didn’t.
I think you got most of it right..starting from the top when you say “it is a little more complicated.”
Harry Belin, a nice enough guy, and with a long family history in Georgetown, set up a non-profit corporation called “The Evermay Society.” He and his wife (they and their lawyer were the Board of Directors of the Society) then rented the property to the Society. That entity then became the wedding/political fundraising venue which was objectionable to the neighbors. It was quite a deal. You paid big bucks to “rent” the facility, but a big chunk would be considered a “charitable donation” that you could use as a deduction for tax purposes. From what I hear, there is a continuing investigation as to whether this arrangement was “inappropriate.” Sounds much nicer than “fraudulent.”
In any event, it is good news that somebody might purchase the property with the intent to live there.
Belin withdrew his application before the Board of Zoning Adjustment, and apparently also took action to dissolve the “Evermay Society.” This, no doubt, is a very historic property, and I trust that any purchaser will recognize it as so.
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