News and notes from Reston (tm).

Monday, December 8, 2008

Reston: More than a place...

... it's also a state of mind.

A Loudoun County man was in big trouble over his driveway. And every day it was costing him $10 in fines.

Ram Balasubramanian had painted a Hindu religious symbol on his South Riding driveway for a family event. The six-foot design of swirling red and white paint was pretty enough, but his homeowners association was not impressed. They sent a stern certified letter ordering him to remove it and "return the asphalt to a black state."'

The South Villages Homeowners Association soon sent Balasubramanian a certified letter noting "unapproved modifications" to the driveway. Jonathan Sucher, a representative for the company that manages the association, wrote an e-mail to Balasubramanian last week asking that he immediately remove the design. "This continues to be a fairly contentious issue," he wrote. Sucher did not return phone calls requesting comment.

After an exchange of e-mails with the association, Balasubramanian organized an energetic appeal, polling 20 of his immediate neighbors to see whether they objected to the kolam. Nobody did.

He gathered signatures and appeared before the association's board, made up of volunteer residents, in September. The board listened but ruled against him. One asked why he simply couldn't move the kolam into the garage, where it would be out of sight.
Maybe if he just painted the kolam using soothing earth tones...

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