The Plaza is No Place For a "Passion Paradise," Lake Anne Owners Say

Board will try and stop adult-themed store from opening.

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?"

Justine van Engen July 21, 2011 at 11:25 PM
Private Person, please note that there is a more recent article on Patch which includes the shop owner's perspective as well as the fact that, through no fault of the tenant's and without regard to the products she is selling, the property may have been improperly subdivided. That has nothing to do with socialism or capitalism and has more to do with things like fire code and other compliance issues.
Private Person July 21, 2011 at 11:54 PM
Again a little civility goes a long way. Why not post the link to the article? I will read it if I can find it, but let's not make this a treasure hunt, please. It's still not apparent. And what do fire "things like (the) fire code and other (whatever they may be) compliance issues" have to do with what kind of shop is in the location? And it can't be a *** fact *** if it *** may *** have been improperly subdivided. And she can't be a faulted, or not, tenant if her shop is not (yet) there.
Carolyn Lawson Low July 21, 2011 at 11:58 PM
Here's the link: http://reston.patch.com/articles/lake-anne-lingerie-store-owner-says-her-shop-will-be-tame - also currently on home page. This article appeared on Thursday, after the initial article (where these comments are being posted) The link is also available on the sidebar: "See More On Patch".
Kate Peterson July 22, 2011 at 01:38 AM
Private Person, really? Civilty? You've suddenly grown tender?
Private Person July 22, 2011 at 01:46 PM
I have not grown tender; and let's all remember that tolerance of those with whom we differ is one of the bases of a civil society. Personal, sarcastic attacks are neither useful nor civil and, of course, are not addressing the matters at hand herein.


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