Excerpt from the Capital Gazette:
Back in the early 2000s, Henry and Ann Seta had started a battle over the historic nature of a waterfront community in Annapolis when they’d proposed to demolish an old one-story, ranch-style home and replace it with a 32-foot tall, 3-bedroom home.
About a decade after the Montgomery County couple sparred with the city’s Historic Preservation Commission over their right to build the home, revising their plans and facing off against opponents in court, they have decided to sell the home at 17 Revell St. for $4.9 million.
The couple’s listing agent, Realtor Constance Cadwell, confirmed the sale closed on Nov. 16. Neither she nor Realtor Eva Smith, who coordinated the sale with the home’s new owners, identified the buyers, and property records still show the Setas as the owners.
Cadwell said the Setas are “in their next chapter” and “going to find something a little smaller.”
“It was just the two of them. It was just a lot of house,” she added.
When the two bought the 13,040-square-foot property for $1.1 million back in 1999, their plans to build a lavish retirement home in the city’s Historic District spurred the ire of neighbors.
Articles in The Capital from that time depict neighbors as fearing that the original plans to develop a 90-foot-long home would alter the fabric of the neighborhood and impede waterfront views.
Although they’d submitted those plans to the Historic Preservation Commission for approval originally, they withdrew them after the backlash and revised the blueprints to reduce the house’s footprint.
The commission still rejected the plans, and the couple appealed all the way to the Court of Special Appeals in 2005.
During that appeal, they submitted a third set of plans for a 71-foot-long home that was narrowly approved by the commission by a vote of 3-2. An article in The Capital after the vote also described how 19 people spoke against the plan.
There was still some question as to whether the Setas would go with the rejected blueprint plans, because if they had won the Court of Special Appeals case after the commission’s 3-2 vote, there was the possibility they could choose to go with the rejected plans.
No evidence of the court’s decision exists online, and the couple’s attorney, Tarrant Lomax, did not have the decision either. He said in an email he was “fairly certain” they used the third set of plans.
Regardless, a decade later, the size of the home ended up being too much for even the Setas, according to Cadwell. The sale for $4.9 million marked the second-most expensive home sold in all of 2016 for Anne Arundel County.
“They just built a fabulous house,” Cadwell said, crediting architect Leo Wilson with its design.
“It sold in less than 83 days. We had multiple offers,” she added.
Attempts to contact both the Setas and the new owners were unsuccessful.