Ohio homeowner defies town's call to pull 'Zombie Nativity,' claims First Amendment right

A "Zombie Nativity" scene remains undead past the deadline to remove it in a southwest Ohio township.

Sycamore Township sent resident Jasen Dixon two zoning violation notices. Officials said they received complaints about debris at the home and concluded that the nativity violates rules on size and placement of yard structures.

Facing a fine and legal action, Dixon kept the display up past the township's Dec. 26 deadline. He has begun crowdfunding online and a Facebook page urges support for "freedom of expression."

The scene has eerie figures including a demonic-looking creature sitting up in the manger where the baby Jesus would be in traditional Christmas nativities.

He posted on his crowdfunding page that he wants to “make a better zombie nativity scene for everyone to see next year and [raise] funds to pay the township citations for having the structure.”

Township officials have said it's not an anti-zombie issue, but pro-zoning rules. Messages were left Tuesday seeking township comment.

According to documents obtained by Fox 19, Sycamore Township, which is outside Cincinnati, does not allow structures to be located in the front or the side yard to occupy more than 35 percent of the area. Also, the primary structure must be 3 feet from the street, and 6 feet from the house.

"I've lived here for 15 years and I've never had a violation of any kind," Dixon said earlier this month.  "It's a holiday decoration.  I know if it was a real pretty Nativity scene they wouldn't be saying anything."

The Associated Press contributed to this report