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Homeowner seeks $1 from Cary in sign dispute

Posted December 29, 2010

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— A homeowner who won a freedom of speech case against Cary has filed for $1 in damages in the flap.

A federal judge ruled three weeks ago that David Bowden had the right to spray-paint the phrase “S-----d by the Town of Cary” on his home as a protest. Cary had threatened to fine Bowden, contending that the message violated the town's sign ordinance.

Bowden said he is frustrated by years of unsuccessful negotiation with Cary after construction on Maynard Road that he claims led to drainage problems in his yard and home.

He has repeatedly said he wants Cary to buy his house from him, but in court papers filed Tuesday, he has agreed to accept $1 in damages in the case. He also could seek legal fees from the town.

Cary has agreed to pay the damages within 30 days, unless the town appeals the judge's ruling.

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  • Stringbean Jan 3, 2011

    " This man does not have the social awareness to know that he needs to take care of his house for sanitary reasons, health reasons, which are not the responsibility of Cary. The inside of his house is probably FILTHY also....who's to blame for that? Just another person with the ME ME ME mentality!
    bcox50" Lol... do you even know what your talking about ?.... Have you seen the slope that Cary pushed back to his house when they made the road so wide ?

  • msudawg Dec 31, 2010

    "You're exactly right. The HOAs do get first licks on something...but again that's not just a Cary thing. Anyplace with an HOA a builder/whatever has to pass both the HOA and municipality's rules."

    This is just a Cary thing. I deal with HOA's and permits offices on a daily basis. Cary is the ONLY municipality that requires seeing proof from the HOA that they have approved a project. There is not another building permit department in the Triangle that has this requirement.

  • IzzMad2016 Dec 30, 2010

    Good to know XLAW -- I just assumed they provided services for no cost to their plantiff at times. Thanks.

  • bcox50 Dec 30, 2010

    This man does not have the social awareness to know that he needs to take care of his house for sanitary reasons, health reasons, which are not the responsibility of Cary. The inside of his house is probably FILTHY also....who's to blame for that? Just another person with the ME ME ME mentality!

  • XLAW Dec 30, 2010

    Be Nice For A Change: The ACLU doesn't sue on their own dime. They always go after legal fees in addition. Don't be shocked when you learn the amount requested and approved. It will blow your mind!

  • Road-wearier Dec 30, 2010

    "Seems to me it is saying that the HOA has first right of refusal and then the town gets their say."

    You're exactly right. The HOAs do get first licks on something...but again that's not just a Cary thing. Anyplace with an HOA a builder/whatever has to pass both the HOA and municipality's rules. But it makes sense - the Town seems to be saving time and money by getting the HOA gestapo's approval first instead of the town approving something then having the HOA reject it and then the Town having to approve it again. The HOA's ultimate authority comes from the state; the Town of Cary has to deal with that and I think they've got a pretty good way of doing it.

    My real point was to those people who rant and rave "Town of Cary = one giant HOA"...and that's just not true. Cary draws a lot of undeserved hatred here on GOLO from folks who don't live here and have no idea about the reality here.

  • Diabolical Dec 30, 2010

    why not get the whole shabang? $1? Cary makes more than that. lol, Go for broke man...

  • tired2 Dec 30, 2010

    susang919: "Forget the reported flooding issue....how would you like to look out your front windows and see an unmowable grassy mountain two feet from you?? That is what this man is dealing with..." The man bought a property/house below grade - his choice,,,(we purposely did not buy a certain property in Cary because below grade tends to flood). He knew where his property ended and that at some point the town would widen the road on TOWN OWNED PROPERTY. You people need to get the facts straight before backing this man,,,,and again, go look at his house...his DOWNSPOUTS HAVE ALWAYS DRAINED UNDER HIS HOUSE - I SUPPOSE THAT IS ALSO CARY"S ISSUE?

  • msudawg Dec 30, 2010

    Not all subdivisions in Cary have HOA's but to say that the Town of Cary has nothing to do with the HOA's is completely inaccurate. In the town of Cary if you are going to do something to your property that requires a building permit and you live in a neighborhood with an HOA the Town of Cary will require to see the letter from the HOA approving the change. Seems to me it is saying that the HOA has first right of refusal and then the town gets their say.

  • Alex25 Dec 30, 2010

    HOAs, local, state and fed Govts all get lumped together in my book. They all want control and money. Yes, of course, HOAs are local - but for a minute do you think the Town of Cary isn't pro HOAs generally speaking? Next time, I'll tease out these finer points.

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