Woman's yard junk legal if not pretty

July 13, 2008 at 1:10 AM

SYKESVILLE, Md., July 13 (UPI) -- A Maryland woman has annoyed her neighbors in a Baltimore suburb with her plastic reindeer, lampshades and the raised middle finger sticking from her mailbox.

But repeated visits by fire inspectors, police officers and other Sykesville and Howard County officials have found nothing illegal in Erin Alban's yard, the Baltimore Sun reported.

"We don't do pretty," said George Beisser, who heads zoning enforcement for Howard County. "What's one person's junk is another person's art."

Alban had little to say to a Sun reporter.

"It's like the choice of a car," she remarked enigmatically.

Neighbors complain that she won't talk to them either. Jackie Costello said Alban began filling up her yard almost as soon as she moved in two years ago.

Roger Pilon of the libertarian Cato Institute said he thinks people have broad rights to do as they wish on their private property. He suggests the neighbors "lighten up."

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