NKY woman says she’s being asked to remove decorations that bring her joy

Carman Deda Lake says she received two letters from the City of Covington.

Woman upset after receiving notice of violation from City of Covington

COVINGTON, Ky. (FOX19) - A woman in Latonia says she’s being forced to take down some beach-themed decorations she’s had in her front yard for weeks.

Carman Deda Lake tells FOX19 NOW she received two letters from the City of Covington letting her know she’s in violation of the city’s code of ordinances. When she called to find out why, she says she was told it’s because of the decorations.

Lake says city officials told her someone made a complaint that her decorations were a distraction for the neighborhood and therefore needed to be removed.

The letter Lake received says she’s violating the city’s code of ordinance, which states:

"No person shall act, fail to act, behave, erect, contrive, cause, continue, maintain in any manner, or permit to exist any public nuisance within the city. Repeated violations of the terms of the International Property Maintenance Code, as amended, shall constitute a public nuisance."

The letter also states, as of Tuesday, Lake has 15 days to remove the decorations, which she says she has started doing.

But they are more than just decorations to her. She says they bring her joy because right now she’s fighting breast cancer.

Lake says she would often get compliments from neighbors on her decorations. Now some are saying they don’t want to see them go.

“This is perfect,” one neighbor said. “Why would anyone complain about this?”

Lake says some of the decorations are her own, others family and friends gave her to try and lift her up during this difficult time.

She says her beach-themed front yard felt more like a safe place for her and she really enjoyed having the decorations outside.

“I am fighting for my life right now with this cancer,” Lake said. “The last thing I need to do right now is fight with the city over decorations.”

Lake is still in the process of removing some of the decorations with help from friends and family.

She says the city told her she could have them in her backyard, but Lake says it feels too isolated back there.

According to the letter, if she wouldn’t have complied, a citation would’ve been issued, and she could’ve been fined.

FOX19 NOW did reach out to Covington’s Code Enforcement Manager for comment and is waiting to hear back.

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