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Avon mother refuses to take down sign after receiving HOA letter

AVON, Ind. (WISH) — There’s a debate heating up between an Avon mother and her neighborhood’s Home Owner’s Association. It’s all about a yard sign that mother says she is not taking down.

The sign has the details for the upcoming Jonathan Legg Memorial Golf Outing on Sept. 9.  Legg would have celebrated his 19th birthday Saturday, Aug. 26, but was killed in a car crash about 16 months ago.

Legg’s mother Sarah Smith says her sign is being unfairly targeted.

“Your biggest fear, I think, when something like this happens is that your child is going to be forgotten and I didn’t want that to be the case with Jonathan,” Smith said.

Legg’s legacy quickly took life in a foundation created by Smith and her family. Just over a year after his death, three Avon seniors were awarded $5,000 in scholarships each from the JWL Foundation. The main fundraiser for the foundation is a golf outing.

“I saw another golf outing being advertised and I thought, ‘Oh, that’s a good idea.’ Just get a couple of signs and get some people around town that are willing to post them,” Smith said.

One sign sits in the Smith’s front yard. She put it up at the beginning of August and didn’t think much about it until the 19th.

“I got a letter in the mail from the HOA stating that my sign was breaking the covenants of our HOA and I need to have it taken down by August 22,” Smith said. “I was pretty angry.”

That date has passed and the sign still stands, along with several other in neighborly support. In the letter Smith received, the rule states only signs “advertising the property for sale” may be posted, but Avon’s Bridgewater neighborhood is littered with yard signs. Many of them are in support of high school activities. 24-Hour News 8 counted at least 15 during a drive through the neighborhood. Smith said she even had one her self.

“We had band signs up for Jonathan, cause he was a member of the marching band and we had a sign up supporting him and I never got a letter regarding that,” Smith said. “He’s still my child, regardless of whether he’s here or not here, and this is our way to support Jonathan.”

Smith hopes the HOA will now listen to her neighbors, who say they have no problem with the signs, and make an exception for the rule.

“It’s not always black or white. There is some gray and I feel like they should be aware and they should be sensitive to that,” Smith said.

24-Hour News 8 did reach out to the HOA management company, Community Association Services of Indiana last week for their response to the situation in the Bridgewater Neighborhood. We asked them if the other households with yard signs also received signs in the month of August. They did not return our calls or emails.

Smith said the sign will not become a permanent part of her yard. She plans to take it down after the golf outing on Sept. 9.

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