CHARDON, Ohio — Kyan Bowman of Chardon said she's just trying to convey positive messages with the sign in her front yard, which is embellished with two 4-foot plastic dragons and a host of other items. But some of her neighbors believe the growing display in her yard is nothing but an eyesore, a potential safety issue and a violation of Chardon city ordinances.
Bowman told News 5 the four-year legal battle over her controversial yard display has now reached a crescendo, with the City of Chardon filing 12 misdemeanor violations against her on Jan. 18. The violations included everything from the size of her sign, failing to obtain a zoning permit, junk, unlicensed vehicles and maintenance of accessory structures.
Bowman, who weathered a city lawsuit in 2020, which was later dropped, believes the city is unfairly harassing her with violations she believes are being unequally enforced citywide.
“There is a city ordinance for signs, but I think this is art, I don’t consider it a sign," Bowman said. "But they’ve also not had a problem with people who have had political signs up extended periods of time, you only have 30-days, they’re still up from the 2020 election.”
Bowman said the messages on her her front yard sign are meant to be inspirational, along with her rainbow painted porch rails, and the large plastic Christmas rooster that she has in place as a tribute to her relatively new chicken coop.
"I mean it’s touching people, but it’s also causing a stir in the City of Chardon,” Bowman said. “One young woman told me she was literally thinking about killing herself one morning, and she saw my sign and said it was the message that she needed to hear and it saved her life.”
“I've just always wanted a rainbow porch my entire life," Bowman added. “The Christmas rooster that I got is because I have 10 hens, so they needed a rooster.”
But Bowman admits some Chardon residents have been less than enthusiastic about the items on her property and her taste in front yard design.
“The complaints just started flying in and people would start saying things on the street, just stop and say horrible things to me about what the rainbow represents and things,” Bowman said. "People started complaining about the dragons, saying that his kids were terrified, at least that’s what the town told me.”
News 5 reached out to both Chardon City Manager Randy Sharpe and Chardon Councilwoman Deborah Chuha, who lives 500 feet from Bowman's home, but our calls were not returned.
Chardon Community Development Administrator Steven Yaney issued the following short statement:
“On the advice of the City’s legal counsel, the City has no comment on this matter.”
News 5 also reached out multiple homeowners in Bowman's neighborhood, none of them wanted to be identified for fear of legal retribution, but told us "the yard display is a real nuisance and a potential safety hazard that is having a negative impact on our property values." Neighbors went on to say, "We'll have our day in court, how would you like to live near this?"
Bowman is due in Chardon Municipal Court on the 12 misdemeanor counts on Feb. 8. The compliant states if she fails to appear in court a warrant could be issued for her arrest.
Meanwhile, Bowman is hoping some type of dialogue can be opened back-up between her at the city, instead of more legal action, which she said has so far failed to produce any results.
“You’re going to file another lawsuit, okay, I don’t know why you’re wasting your time," Bowman said. "If you have issues, why don’t you come out here and help me then.”
News 5 will continue to follow-up on this developing story.