Community Q&a

March 06, 2005

THE QUESTION

I want to paint the exterior of my house hot pink, and I live in Columbia. Do I have to get permission?

THE ANSWER

Yes. Columbia is governed by one of the nation's largest homeowners associations, the Columbia Association. The town is divided into 10 villages, and each village has its own architectural covenants that dictate the outside appearances of all properties. Many exterior alterations, from lawn ornaments to changing a house color, must be approved by the village. The architectural guidelines for each village are available online, and links to the villages' Web sites can be found at: www.columbia villages.org. Most likely, a hot-pink exterior won't be approved. But you're welcome to paint the interior of your house any color you choose, although we suggest you don't make any drastic color change without first consulting your spouse / roommate / cat.

Send in a question of general interest to: howard.question@baltsun.com

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