Maria's Passion Paradise is a Clinton, MD-based store that sells edible underwear and holds "passion parties" and "aphrodisiac workshops" for couples.
If the merchants and residents ofhave their way, Maria's Passion Paradise won't be setting up shop in Reston any time soon.
Over the weekend, Lake Anne of Reston Condominium owners were surprised to learn that one of the owners, Michele Suissa, leased a small retail space at 1635 Washington Plaza, B-1, to Tiana Cotturo, owner of Maria’s Passion Paradise. Cutturo did not return emails.
Rick Thompson, president of the Lake Anne Condominium Board of Directors, said other owners have complained. , a risque shop is not what they had in mind, Thompson said.
"I don't know what the definition of a sex shop is, but I know it when I see it," he said. "It's not something we want."
Lake Anne retail and residential condos are individually owned, but owners have the right to lease out properties. While there is no bylaw that prohibits this type of shop specifically, there is a clause that says owners can veto something objectionable.
The matter will be discussed at the board's monthly meeting on Wednesday, said Thompson. He added that the board will be "exercising its authority and influence to have the business curtail operation."
The board will also be investigating zoning rules that may prohibit a shop from selling sex toys near a school or a church, both of which are located nearby.
"I personally feel this is a bad match in so many ways," he said.
Thompson's wife, Eve, is a Realtor with Lake Anne's and president of the Lake Anne Merchants Association. She says she is all for revitaliazation at Lake Anne, but "this is not the kind of revitalization we want."
At Lake Anne, children play in the fountain and wait each Christmas for Santa to arrive by boat. Families spend Saturday mornings at the Farmers Market tasting kettlecorn and watching a clown make a balloon animals.
Where would a sexy store like Maria's fit in?
"I think [Maria's Passion Paradise] misjudged the market," Eve Thompson said. "This is a neighborhood. Do you want to see your neighbor coming out of that kind of a store?"