Cary, N.C. — A Cary man says he has been done wrong by the town, and he wants everyone who drives by his house to know it.
David Bowden spray-painted his message – with words that some might find offensive – on the front of his 305 SW Maynard Road home last week.
"It's been cleaned up a lot," Bowden said. "That's not what was planned to go up there."
He claims a recent widening project on Maynard Road has left his once-arboreal yard void of trees and with a steep slope that funnels rain water into his home.
Bowden, who's lived in the house since 1992, says he has complained for a year now to the town about water damage underneath his house but was told the drainage issue is with his gutters.
"You don't have to be an electrical engineer or a construction engineer to know water runs downhill," he said.
Assistant Town Manager Mike Bajorek says he understands Bowden's frustration but says it's also frustrating for the town.
"We have gone to him and said we have a design that would help resolve (the drainage issue)," Bajorek said. "He said, 'No, stay off my property. I want you to buy my house.'"
Bajorek said the town has purchased houses with drainage problems when there was no possible solution but that it is not willing, at this point, to spend tax money to buy the house.
Bowden told the town that the drainage issue was a problem for years before the widening project when the state Department of Transportation put an overlay on Maynard Road, Bajorek said.
"We have been working on this project for several years," he said. "We have a fix in place. We’re just waiting for Mr. Bowden to give us the go ahead to install that."
Meanwhile, the town could cite Bowden for being in violation of the town sign ordinance. He faces fines for each day the message remains on his house – $100 for the first day, $250 for the second and $500 for each day afterward.
"Here in Cary, we welcome our citizens to get involved to express their opinions, but we have community values and standards that we need to uphold," Bajorek said. "Making your home a billboard is not one of those standards."
"It is a frustrating thing that a citizen would go paint their home like that without really giving us a chance to resolve the situation," he added.
Bowden said he refuses to remove the message.
“The sign will come down when (the town) buys my house," Bowden said. "If the sign comes down, the attention’s gone.”