Settlement for Stonyman?

Stonyman Gourmet Farmer owners Alan and Susan James are negotiating a settlement with parties involved in the pending sale of the property they’ve leased on Gay Street since 2008.

“All of the interested parties are in settlement discussions, and I expect we are going to reach an agreement,” attorney Michael Brown said on Tuesday (Oct. 14).

Brown, who represents property owner Sunny View (an LLC owned by former Sunnyside Farm owner David Cole, local agent Jimmie Debergh and a Cole-related LLC known as Aqua Terra), said the “agreement in principle” is not yet signed but that, “based on that agreement, the injunction hearing scheduled for Thursday will be taken off the docket.”

After Sunny View announced this spring that it was going forward with a sale of the property to the Inn at Little Washington for a reported $550,000, and that the Jameses did not hold a current lease, the Jameses sued in Rappahannock County Circuit Court, alleging that Sunny View failed to honor a 2011 oral agreement that would allow them to stay in the restored mercantile store on the property where they run a lunch, catering and gourmet cheese shop.

Details of the settlement were not revealed, but Brown said a press release would likely be issued when the agreement — which reportedly is between the Jameses and the soon-to-be-property-owners, the Inn at Little Washington — is finalized this week.

The Jameses’ suit alleged Sunny View failed to honor a “right of first refusal” for Stonyman to purchase the property should it come up for sale, and that DeBergh failed to honor a second oral agreement to extend their lease to April 30, 2016.

Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey W. Parker on Oct. 2 ruled against Brown’s motion to dismiss, sending the case to the injunction hearing this week that Brown now says will not go ahead.

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Roger Piantadosi
About Roger Piantadosi 538 Articles
Former Rappahannock News editor Roger Piantadosi is a writer and works on web and video projects for Rappahannock Media and his own Synergist Media company. Before joining the News in 2009, he was a staff writer, editor and web developer at The Washington Post for almost 30 years.