The house that some thought an eyesore has now become a money pit as well.
Rashid and Rukshana Khalid, whose protracted and extensive home renovation in West Springfield has been labeled a "monstrosity" by its neighbors and has been cited repeatedly by Fairfax County for safety violations, now owe the county $10,000, plus $500 more each day until they -- quite literally -- get their house in order.
On Friday, a Fairfax Circuit Court judge entered a $10,000 judgment against the couple for missing an Oct. 26 deadline to scale back and complete the oversized addition they started two years ago on their home in the 7700 block of Harwood Place. The Khalids have until Dec. 26 to finish, or else the county's building department will order the new construction -- and possibly part of the original structure -- demolished by a bulldozer.
"The owners have not complied with what they agreed to do," said Supervisor Sharon S. Bulova (D-Braddock), who has fielded complaints from many of the Khalids' neighbors, who also are her constituents. Bulova said the corner lot is strewn with construction debris and has an unsightly dumpster.
Rashid Khalid declined comment last week. Sources said he has told county officials that his search for a contractor was stymied by recent rainstorms and, before that, by fear among workers over the sniper shootings.
The Khalids got a county permit more than two years ago for a one-story addition to their house, where they live with their two children and other relatives. Instead, they built two new levels, the upper one with a gabled roof propped up by two-by-fours and cinder blocks.
Neighbors called the addition hideous. County inspectors called it a fire hazard.
Officials condemned the house in January and cited the couple for numerous building code violations. The Khalids were urged to hire an engineer to submit proper plans.
Finally, in July, the couple and the county reached an agreement, Bulova said. The addition would be completed by Oct. 26, according to plans approved by an engineer, and the roof would be lowered and stabilized. If the deadline passed, the county would fine the couple $500 a day for as long as 60 days, at which point the bulldozer would be summoned.
Portions of the original house were demolished to make way for the addition, county officials said last spring, making it likely that more of the original structure would have to go.
The Khalids hired an engineer, who worked with them on a new plan. In the last three months, they have removed the unstable roof and lowered it, and they have taken care of some code violations, Bulova said.
Even so, the addition is nowhere near done, officials said last week, so the county attorney's office took the couple to court. The $10,000 judgment -- what the Khalids owe so far in fines -- serves as a lien on the home. The county also could attach their wages, officials said.
Neighbors' dismay over the construction long ago turned to fury.
"It goes beyond the pale in terms of what they've done to the neighborhood," said Lou Barasha, who lives a few doors away. "I thought this would have been resolved long ago."
-- Lisa Rein