HENRICO, Va. — A mother of two special-needs students appealed to the homeowner’s association (HOA) of her condominium complex to allow her children’s bus to drive into their community, CBS 6 reports.
Mary Bennette-Browing told the news source that she has health issues and that her children are unable to walk to the front end of the neighborhood to catch the bus, but that the HOA prohibits school buses from driving through their community. She added that there are other families with disabled children in the condominium complex, and that “it is very dangerous for them to be standing by the side of a busy street.”
Baird Stokes, the HOA president, told CBS 6 that in previous years, the HOA had agreed to a request from Henrico County to allow school buses to drive through the private community, but this year they didn’t, because of concerns about additional traffic and the cost of expensive road repairs. (Homeowners recently spent nearly $50,000 to repair potholes and other road damage, according to the news source.) Stokes added that the community’s parking lot is not built to the standard of a public road, and buses were cutting through and often not dropping off students.
Bennette-Browing contacted the CBS 6 Problem Solvers, which reached out to the HOA and Henrico County officials. Stokes told the news source that the HOA was willing to obtain an exception from county leaders for buses that transport students with special needs. As a result, when the school year starts, two special-needs school buses will be allowed to drive into the community to pick up students, according to the news source.
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