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Federal judge will not revisit ruling involving Cary sign ordinance

A federal judge on Tuesday denied the town of Cary's request that she reconsider her ruling involving a nearly two-year dispute with a local homeowner.

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David Bowden house
CARY, N.C. — A federal judge on Tuesday denied the town of Cary's request that she reconsider her ruling involving a nearly two-year dispute with a local homeowner.

U.S. District Judge Louise Flanagan ruled in December that the town violated David Bowden’s freedom of speech when it fined him for spray-painting the phrase “Screwed by the Town of Cary” on the front of his home at 305 Maynard Road.

In February, she ordered the town to pay $46,197.27 in fees.

Town officials said Bowden violated an ordinance that specifies how and where signs can be displayed in the community.

But Flanagan ruled that the town’s rules were content-based because they don’t regulate holiday decorations or other things not commonly considered to be signs.

Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht said in February that the ruling appeared to require the town to regulate holiday decorations by setting size, height and other limitations.

The case could be appealed to the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

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Kathy Hanrahan, Web Editor

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