Local News

Bright houses have some Cary residents seeing red

Posted June 12, 2008
Updated September 24, 2009

— The town of Cary has no ordinance regulating the appearance of single-family homes, which means owners can paint their houses any color they want.

However, some residents say they are displeased with a handful of colorful houses in the area and want the town, known by many for its strict appearance standards, to keep Cary from getting too colorful.

A bright blue house in a neighborhood off Cary Parkway got neighbors' attention.

"When I saw it, at first, I thought, 'Oh well, he's made a terrible mistake with color, and he's going to get a lighter color,'" neighbor Carole Tiffany said. "But he didn't."

"This is how it starts, one or two houses," resident Kelly Houston said. "If we don't address this issue, then I think it's going to get out of control."

Cary regulates the appearances of businesses, apartments and townhomes, but town planners say ordinances regulating single-family homes are rare because of property rights and First Amendment rights.

The Town Council has never expressed interest in regulating the colors of single-family homes and prefers that homeowners' associations set the rules.

Some residents, such as Jean Daugherty, like the colored houses. She lives in a pink house off Cary Parkway.

"Everything in Cary is one color. Boring beige," she said. "It shows who you are and makes life more exciting" to have a different color.

"I understand that," Houston said. "But the point is it's now affecting the community and other homeowner values."

Daugherty says homeowners should do as they please with their decor – and pink is there to stay.

"If I do change it, it would probably be another interesting color," she said.


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  • joyheart Jun 16, 2008

    We actually live in the blue house's neighborhood. I remember my husband saying, "um...has that house ALWAYS been that color?"

    The real kicker is that that husband and wife are on the freakin' neighborhood's HOA!!! We had actually thought about reporting them...but it IS them.

    I just find it so hypocritical since they're all about policing the rest of us when none of us are nearly as offensive...so awesome they got called out on it.

    PS - They did this like a month ago and STILL haven't finished putting the shutters back up. What in the world?

  • bronzegoddess40 Jun 13, 2008

    Get a life people, get a life. Their panties are in a wad over a house color? Too much color? Help us all.

  • FE Jun 13, 2008

    I think it is a residual effect from all those IBM-ers who had moved to Cary, remembering that for a very long time the ONLY approved work attire for the man was a WHITE shirt with a BLACK tie. (Think Geek Squad?)

  • newmommy06 Jun 13, 2008

    These folks need to get a job and a life and stop worrying about what color the neighbors houses are. They are not the ones making the payments.

  • SpunkyGrits The One and Only Jun 13, 2008

    This makes news? Since when do "neighbors" have the right to tell you what color to paint the house YOU paid for? I guess next, the "neighbors" can tell you what style of house you can build, what builder to use, etc. Get a grip. Whoever is paying for the house has the right to choose what color it is. Period.

  • Squirreling Dervish Jun 13, 2008

    People are dying in Darfur, Burma, China and this "stuff" makes news...Good to see priorities are in order...

  • leo-nc Jun 13, 2008

    "I dont think cary would let you store all your trash (1981 pickup truck, couch, riding lawn mower that no longer runs, etc.) in your front yard like youre currently doing"

    Hmmm, nice attitude... and that is exactly why the man you're responding to said this....

    "Screw Cary and their self-important, elitist, transplanted mentalities. Another example of why not to live or shop there, no matter how much money I have."

    Seems like you just helped him prove his point. Excellent.

  • campbellman Jun 13, 2008

    While I personally find the homes to be painted in poor taste, to each his own.
    And I cannot fathom why this even made it on the news.

  • tgw Jun 13, 2008

    Thank you Jesus we live in Clayton. Oh no- some folks in Clayton think
    O-of N-next

    We're in trouble now. Maybe we can learn from Cary's mistakes or stupidity.

  • melbee Jun 13, 2008

    "If we don't address this issue, then I think it's going to get out of control."

    Seriously?! THIS is a problem that people worry about getting "out of control"?! People need to get over themselves and let others have neon orange houses, if that's what they want.