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Loudoun County is the epicenter of Lyme Disease in the Northeast. 

I live in Exeter neighborhood and have had Lyme Disease for four years; unable to walk the paths and around the pond as I used to.  Exeter Home Owners Association manages this property in northeast Leesburg, off Battlefied Parkway and Plaza Street, encompasses 215 acres with 829 units and numerous paths along with a pond.

My concern as a chronic Lyme patient, is that the land around the HOA is not mowed, certainly not sprayed. Neighborhood children walk through the tall grass to collect tadpoles, people work their way through the grass/weeds to fish the pond. The playgrounds are overgrowth with weeds.

The Exeter HOA is, according to Town Code, in violation of Section 22-1 which requires properties with overgrowth over 12 inches to mitigate the hazard. Current growth is way beyond that today and the acreage has not been regularly maintained for years. We have asked the HOA to bring the property up to code and for the Town to enforce the code.

This is not a small issue. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in addressing tick borne diseases, has advised properties be mowed, areas cleared of weeds and tick habitats. They also advise that signs be posted telling people that a tick habitat may exist and to take caution.

My husband, a regular dog-walker on this path took it upon himself to start posting warning signs, after sweeping the area in June, 2012 and finding numerous black legged dear ticks which are known to carry Lyme Disease. He reported the findings to the Exeter HOA and offered to bring the ticks. The HOA was not interested in the ticks or any discussion. 

In the last year, he has posted 55 signs, some homemade, most from the CDC, warning people to be aware of ticks. All 55 signs have been immediately and summarily removed by the Property Manager of the Exeter HOA, according to eyewitnesses. 

So, let me get this straight. The Exeter Home Owners Association will not pay to keep the property up to code, won’t spray, and feel perfectly comfortable removing tick hazard signs that my good Samaritan husband has posted on his own time at our expense.

I guess their feeling is that it’s better to have a person bitten and infected with Lyme Disease than to step up and maintain the property or, at the very least, post signs. The HOA has, after all, 55 signs they’re now in possession of.

What a dangerous and arrogant attitude on the part of an HOA that is charged with protecting residents and being a good neighbor.

Marita McKenna Martin

Leesburg

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