SOMERS, N.Y. - Stone House Farm, the historic Route 202 property proposed last year as a venue for special events, will remain a private residence.
The 30-acre site, including the Stone House itself and accessory buildings, sold earlier this month for $995,000, reportedly to a North Salem couple who will call the Greek Revival structure home.
Last June, a Cross River couple, Dane Atkinson and Nicole A. Mata, informally proposed a new role for the property, which they saw as “an ideal location for an events space.”
In a presentation to a town board work session, Atkinson and Mata outlined plans to convert a barn on the property, making it the principal event site. It would have hosted weddings and other functions, accommodating as many as 200 guests.
Christine Beshar, the property’s owner, was at the town hall meeting and supported the event-venue proposal. She had put the Stone House up for sale a year earlier, asking $2.495 million. By June, the price had dropped to $1.850 million.
At the time, Atkinson and Mata were negotiating to buy the property, but the sale was contingent on winning town approval of commercial activity on the site, which is zoned only for one-acre residential use.
While town officials listened politely to the Mata/Atkinson presentation, they were coolly noncommittal. “For us to issue a special-use permit we’re going to have public hearings,” Supervisor Rick Morrissey warned the couple. “We have to weigh whether it’s in the best interests of the town.”
Two Stone House neighbors who spoke at the meeting expressed concern about the potential for unwanted noise. One warned he would call the police.
Later, seeking to persuade a number of nearby residents that the events venue would not be an intrusive, unwelcome presence, the couple invited them to a meeting in the barn.
“It was horrible,” Mata recalled in an interview this month. “They were very angry neighbors.”
Facing such stiff local opposition as well as the uphill regulatory climb, Atkinson/Mata threw in the towel on their events-venue vision.
“Unfortunately, it did not come about,” Mata said. “We couldn’t go as fast as the owners needed us to go, so they decided to go with somebody who bought it just for their private use,” she said. “It’s a much easier process, obviously.”
The couple continues to look for a property that would make a fitting events venue.Stn