Bright houses have some Cary residents seeing red
Posted June 12, 2008
Updated September 24, 2009
Cary, N.C. — 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.