UPDATE 5/10/2023: Due to circumstances beyond the control of Hospice of the Chesapeake, the planned Culinary Event will be held at a new location, The Hall at Huntingtown, 4030 Old Town Road in Huntingtown, Maryland. The event will be held on the same date and time originally planned: 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 12.  Registration is now closed for the event.

The nonprofit is grateful for the Calvert County community’s support that helped make this change very quickly.

All proceeds from this event will be used to grow and strengthen the hospice organization’s programs in Calvert County and directly support local patients and families living with illness and loss.

Donations to support hospice care in Calvert County can be made by visiting https://www.hospicechesapeake.org/giving/donate-now/.

Editor’s Note: The Senior Communications Specialist for Hospice of the Chesapeake, Elyzabeth Marcussn, reached out to The Chronicle to let us know that the event itself has not been canceled, just the venue. They are confirming a new venue for the event, to be held on May 12. We will update the community once they provide the new information.

Hospice of the Chesapeake’s Annual Culinary Event, which was scheduled for May 12th, has been canceled(venue only) due to a ruling from the Calvert County Government. The charitable event, which a fully permitted Tuscan Villa has hosted for the past eight years, has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Hospice.

According to the villa’s spokesperson, charitable events were not classified as public events in previous years, but the Calvert County Government has now classified them as such. As a result, the villa cannot host any charitable events, including the Hospice fundraiser.

Despite contacting the Board of County Commissioners for help with zoning interpretation, the villa could not secure permission to host the Hospice event. While Commissioner Todd Ireland was willing to bring the issue before the board for a vote, other board members ultimately voted against allowing the event to occur on the villa’s premises.

The villa’s spokesperson expressed frustration with the decision, particularly its negative impact on Hospice. The villa had no outstanding zoning issues and had been permitted to host private events for years. However, due to the recent zoning interpretation, they could now not host any public events, including fundraisers for charity.

The spokesperson also expressed disappointment with the Zoning Ordinance of Calvert County, which limits businesses from participating in fundraising endeavors due to outdated zoning laws. This decision will likely limit the villa’s ability to participate in fundraising events in the future, as well as other Calvert County venues that have had to turn away Hospice due to similar zoning issues.

Furthermore, the spokesperson pointed out that the Calvert County Agricultural Preservation program only allows properties to host two public events per year, despite allowing unlimited private events. The villa’s spokesperson argues that this structural issue needs to be addressed to allow venues and agritourism businesses to continue supporting charities in Calvert County.

The spokesperson concluded by expressing hope for a resolution allowing the villa and other businesses to continue supporting charities in Calvert County. They look forward to working with the Calvert County Government to resolve these issues and make Calvert County a better place to live and work.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/EditorEditor-in-Chief

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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