Cross in Elderly Woman's Yard 'Isn't Hurting Anyone,' She Says

September 20, 2011 - 11:35 PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A nearly 25-foot cross in the front yard of an elderly woman's home is stirring controversy in a Los Angeles neighborhood.

Neighbors complain the cross is an eyesore that is attracting unwanted attention to their San Fernando Valley cul-de-sac and hurting their property values.

The cross has drops of blood-red paint in the area where Jesus' hands and feet would have been nailed. It also features a crown of thorns and a sign that says, "Jesus I trust in you."

"When you turn down our cul-de-sac, it looks like there is a church on our street," Laurie Biener of the West Hills neighborhood told the Daily News (http://bit.ly/o2JvuK).

Neighbors' complaints have prompted city building inspectors to take a look at the cross. They're expected to determine this week whether it complies with zoning rules or should be removed.

Homeowner Laly Dobener said she erected the cross to express her devotion to her Catholic faith and hopes her religious freedom will be protected.

"I don't understand what my neighbors are so upset about," the 72-year-old told the newspaper. "This cross isn't hurting anyone."