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Evermay Conditions Limit Events' Size and Frequency

Evermay, LLC faces the Board of Zoning Adjustment Feb. 28 for a special exception to allow non-profit use of the Georgetown estate.

Neighbors of the Evermay Estate gathered at the Thursday to learn about the owners' plans for a non-profit at the 3.5 acre estate, built 1801-1802.

Attorneys for Ryuji Ueno and Sachiko Kuno detailed the uses planned by the S&R Foundation, namely concerts, fellows meetings, art exhibits and several annual fundraisers. Additionally, the non-profit intends to use the outbuilding on 28th Street as office space for up to nine employees.

Throughout the presentation, Attorney Alice Haase emphasized that all parking for any event would be valet-only, on-property only and that at no point would Evermay be used as a rental venue; all events would be exclusively operated by and for the S&R Foundation.

The proposal going before the Board of Zoning Adjustment Feb. 28 represents the "dream plan" for the non-profit. Haase told neighbors that the foundation will not immediately be hosting the proposed 93 events a year or likely have the full number of allowed guest or have a full nine-person foundation staff.

Event Type Number of Attendees Number of Events Allowed Fellows Meeting (small) 1-20 24 Fellows Meeting (large) 21-50 12 Concerts and Exhibitions (small) 1-50 24 Concerts and Exhibitions (medium) 51-80
18 Concerts and Exhibitions (large) 81-150
12 Fundraiser (small) 50-100 2 Fundraiser (large) 101-200 1
93

A traffic study of the surrounding streets determined that peak hours run from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. in the morning rush and from 5:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. in the evening rush. Events will be structured so guests are not arriving during the peak hours.

Though exhibitions and concerts could take place seven-days a week, there will not be seven days of events in a row.

Event Type Mon.-Thurs. Fri.-Sat. Sun. Art Exhibit 10 a.m. to 4 p.m 1-10 p.m. 1-9 p.m.
Concerts 2-4 p.m. and/or 7-10 p.m. 1-10 p.m. 1-9 p.m. Fundraisers 7-10 p.m. 1-10 p.m. 1-9 p.m.

To address any concerns of the surrounding community the estate will have a community liason responsible for communicating with neighbors regularly. There will also be a website established with a "neighbors" section.

One woman who attended the forum Thursday said she was about having nine employees on site. "That's quite a few people to employed in a residential area," she remarked. Haase responded that nine is the plan, but initially there will not be that many employees.

Another neighbor who lives directly across the street from the estate said while he is sensitive to noise and traffic, that he was not concerned about such a small number of employees. He reasoned that since he had been utterly unaware of the comings and goings of the various workmen repairing and restoring the property over the last several months, the even smaller number of regular employees would unlikely be an issue.

Joe Brand, who had opposed the previous owner's zoning application, said "I can't believe how lucky we are" to have the plan now offered by the foundation. He called it the "best possible use" for the historic property.

The plans will also be addressed briefly at the ANC2E meeting Monday, before heading to the BZA in February.

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