Oklahoma City Residents Outraged Over Profane Protest
By Charles Bassett, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- A metro man at odds with the city and his neighbors came up with a creative protest to display in his front yard. However, some neighbors said the display is not only an eyesore but is also offensive.
Bruce Knutson has been at odds with his neighbors and Oklahoma City leaders over rezoning his property near Southwest 89th Street and Council Road. It's zoned now for agricultural use, but he wants to change it to commercial so he can build a store on the property.
"Sometimes you just have to express yourself, and that's what I'm doing," Knutson said. "The purpose of this is to... It's my line in the sand. I've tried to get my land rezoned for six years, and I've tried four different venues or avenues and they've been turned down every time."
So Knutson is now trying to get his message across by using words, some of which are profane, using pictures and spreading a lot of equipment across his front lawn, much to the dismay of his neighbors.
"We personally moved out here to get away from any type of commercial zoning type things, and we're not offending anybody by telling him that we don't like it there," said Sandi Rushing, Knutson's neighbor.
Rushing said Knutson's property is not only an eyesore, but it's a traffic hazard and disrespectful to children.
"There are school buses that go up and down through there. I've got kids and grandkids that come out here, and frankly I'm offended by some of the stuff that's up there," Rushing said.
And with no end in sight, Knutson said he will continue to add to the display.
"I have offensive neighbors. I'm just responding in kind," Knutson said. "I can't do anything. I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place."
The Oklahoma City Council member for that area, Larry McAtee, said the city is working within the law to try to resolve the problem without infringing on Knutson's rights.
Oklahoma City's code enforcement office has not yet returned calls.