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City Hall doesn't appreciate my lights


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That ordinance would then effect anyone who puts up christmas lights right? Not just you...Again...selective enforcement is not allowed....

Sounds like your city has nothing better to do that pick on certain individuals. Isnt this your first house? You couldsend a registered letter tothe city back or email and state that anyone who puts up christmas lights would then be in violation of the nuisance ordinance as they all shine in peoples houses to some degree...but most people have blinds and dont even see them...and that everyone must be fined then as you are being.

Your showshould on and you shouldget the media involved because they are singling you out of the whole city who obviouslydo lights too... Plus.....I saw your show last year online. I know it was small lastyear and you were going bigger....

Sell 2 of your LORboxes to pay for an attorney...Just my advice.

Does your city hall do lights on their building? Just curious....

I am doing my display too and dont care what the neighbors think. We just had elections here and 2 of my neighbors got elected to city council post Number 1 and 2...And they loved our lights.....They came around last year for christmasand on halloween for trick or treating this year and brought their kids....So im sure i could get them on my side if need be after January 1st....

Hopefully it wont get that far...

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I think we will approach our son with an idea (I haven't come up with it yet) for something we can do as a family to raise money for the Children's Hospital for this Christmas season - Then it is going to be time to light up. I think I am going to let the media know that I have received this letter and that I intend to take my punishment if need be but that I will be lighting up.I know that there are a few houses in our city that do really large displays for Halloween and they have been for many years so I can not understand how they think I will not stand up for my Christmas display.

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Awesome. If big Halloween displays have already been done, there's no way there should be an issue with you. Please let us know what other ways you think of in raising money for the kids. I'd love to get something going in my area also. One thought might be setting up a checking account at a local bank people could give to. Maybe you could let people know when they drive buy or announce it on the local radio. Possible even transmit the information.

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What about making hand made christmas cards to sell for the hospital or cookies to sell? Maybe rent a table at a winter bazaar or winter function somewhere and do it that way if you cant do it from home, or can you?....

It sounds like they city just threatened you, and didnt say they would do anything.....I would definately note the other displays near you with video and addresses for documentation that your not the only one with christmas lights up thatcan be seen. Also video your display outside showing its quiet and no noise from the fm transmitter.....Just a thought....It helps to document everything...as will i for future use if ever needed.......

Dont not do your display because of someone else not liking it.....It is a violation of your freedom of speech at the least...andyour freedom to show support for your religion at best... focus on that aspect of it.....Not everyone will ever like everything you do. So what.

Get a big blow up Grinch and put it near your mean neighbors yard, and do the Grinch song too......hehe. If they think its about them...oh well. Your not naming any names......Prove it...

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Your comment kind of reminded me of that one house in California which when being built was apparently blocking the neighbor's view.That neighborgot mad and had the city inspect and they found the NEWLY COMPLETED roof was like 12" too tall and the guy could not get a varience. He had to redo the roof COMPLETELTY. So when it came to doing the vents on the end of the house facing that neighbor, he used 5 arched louvered panels, the middle one taller than the others. I guess the complaint got dropped and the vents were changed to something more appropriate.

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Robert_Herronen wrote:

Your comment kind of reminded me of that one house in California which when being built was apparently blocking the neighbor's view.That neighborgot mad and had the city inspect and they found the NEWLY COMPLETED roof was like 12" too tall and the guy could not get a varience. He had to redo the roof COMPLETELTY. So when it came to doing the vents on the end of the house facing that neighbor, he used 5 arched louvered panels, the middle one taller than the others. I guess the complaint got dropped and the vents were changed to something more appropriate.

Close -- it was utah

http://www.snopes.com/photos/risque/ventcover.asp

-Tim

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Well, today I had a surprise visit from two city inspectors - they were checking on whether or not I was doing anything wrong with my business office in my house (another complaint by the lovely neighbor). I guess he is claiming that we are storing parts for our irrigation business in our garage/home. I let them into the garage which is currently my "Christmas central" (wood frames on the floor, pvc piping laying around for the mega tree/arches, plus a bunch of cases of minis) They looked around and asked if any ofthe lightswere for our business and I replied " Nope, all for this house" The one guy looked puzzled and I said "Don't worry, it only works out to about 35,000 lights that I put up, it is really pretty!" The other guy wassaid, "it is really nice".

I have no idea if these comments will bite me in the rear later but I figured that I couldn't hide the lights forever and if they want to shut me down before I have put out any lights - the better for me. My husband arrived home just as they were leaving and the one inspector said that he can not believe that this guy has been after us for two years over landscaping and my husband said "well, I will tell you one thing we are not letting him destroy our Christmas spirit".

My plan is to go to the one neighbor that approached me last week and see if we can come up with some compromises (maybe only light up Thursday to Sunday + Christmas eve/Day or only start the show from the 15th to the 26th) We'll see what she says but at least we are trying.

Got to run - I ended up not doing any building/synchro this whole week so I am now behind!

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Finally, I got around to doing a loose translation of the letter from the city. Here it is...

The letter is addressed to you personally as well as has title of president of Irrigation Johnson Inc.

To the approach of the wintry season, we know that youremember that all collection of funds, charitable or otherwise, is strictly forbidden in the territory of the City without obtaining, properly, the authorization of the Counsel of the City and this, rule is item 38,3 of the by-law on the nuisances. Of more, we inform yourself that the items 8, concerning the lights, and 20, concerning the noise, of this same by-law identify these two elements as sources of potential nuisance in the measure or their broadcasting is likely to inconvenience the neighbors or of in to disrupt peace and the tranquility.

On the other hand, the item 14, concerning the parade, relative by-law about traffic, stipulates among others that no one can organize a demonstration or an appeal an activity that is likely to harm, generate or to impede the circulation on a public street.

At the time of the period of the holidays 2006, the display of games of Christmas lights on your property as well as the music accompanying it, have received many complaints that the City wishes, in the future, to avoid.

By consequence, if you and your business do not respect the quiet and the tranquility of the neighborhood, the City of Vaudreuil-Dorion will see itself in the obligation to undertake without other opinion the necessary legal actions.

You will agree, Mister Johnson, the expression of our feelings is clear.

So that is it - it sounds much better in English - now that I translated it - I don't mind it so much. The letter is from the Director General of the City and has copies going to the mayor, my local city councillor, 3 city worker/inspector guys, my neighbor, as well as the local police.

Let me know what you think - I have decided to light up and I plan to just try to stay quiet about the show until my neighbor raises a stink (which I know he will) and then I will go to the media.

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I find that just incredible. I would be beside myself if I were in your shoes. However, anyone else in the city that chooses to put up lights should have to abide by the same rules, and in my opinion have received the same letter. Give the letter to everyone who could post it on TV, radio or internet. Unless your neighborhood is off limits to the public, I don't see how this is your problem.

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Again.....That letter was absolutely ludacris......Then anyone who decorates with lights who has people come look is considered a problem......Again,your probably gonna have to go to the media. Go to the tv station that featured your show last yearand to the radio station that talked about your story because of the childrens hospital involvement...

Cant you file harrassment chages on the man nextdoor who keeps wrongfully calling the city on you? Why are the inspectors so inclined to keep coming out when they never find anything?

In my opinion...if you compromise with the otherneighbor...I would just offer to run the show from 6 to 9pm nightly....Thats it...Is only 3 hours out of 24. If you give in too much...they will then keep adding to what they dont want you to do... They will then know you can crumble easily..

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Christmas Angel wrote:

On the other hand, the item 14, concerning the parade, relative by-law about traffic, stipulates among others that no one can organize a demonstration or an appeal an activity that is likely to harm, generate or to impede the circulation on a public street.

...

You will agree, Mister Johnson, the expression of our feelings is clear.

just two questions, do they consider bad traffic a parade, I don't ever remember you mentioning that you were organizing dozens of folks to come drive down your street to look at your lights?

and,is this the expression of thier feeling or an explanzation of certain laws

sounds like your police dept aren't very adept at thier "legaleze"

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snowlovergeorgia wrote:

Cant you file harrassment chages on the man nextdoor who keeps wrongfully calling the city on you? Why are the inspectors so inclined to keep coming out when they never find anything?

I think the only reason they keep coming is that my neighbor actually spends 1 hour a week atCity Hall, I am assuming that the mayor is sick of hearing from this man and puts pressure on City officials. I know the city inspector that always has to come out, is sick of this guy as well as he thinks he is crazy. This last visit was actually my usualinspector's boss and some other guy. They have now seen our sitaution and think my neighbor is nutty.

I just left a message for my local city councillor and I am going to ask him if this is just the city trying to cover their rears with my neighbor or what. As my husband said - if this is just their way of showing my neighbor that we are being "dealt" with then no big deal - if they are really dead against the lights we have two choices, go to the media, light up and get ready for a court case or not light up at all. I think my husband would prefer to just give up but I am lucky because I know if I say lets go for broke he will support me.

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Im mean the way i look at it is like this...your a young family and your pregnant. Like your such a big threat...Come on....I think your city is abusing its authority to step on the little guy so to speak...

What are they getting out of shutting you down...Dont be afraid to speak up...your neighbor sure isnt... Maybe your city is afraid of him causing a stink more and more....Put up your lights proudly knowing your celebrating like everyone else. Get your landscapecustomers behind you and the media...

I would call the city and say hey, everyone else is putting up lights and im no different than they are. Im not taking donations, and earlier in the year you said that that was all i couldnt do was take money for charity on my property. Now your saying all these other things...more importantly the fact that i cant evenexpress my rightof religious freedom. If i cant have lights, then technically nobody canbecause cars drive by no matter what to go looking at christmas lights...Then they are all nuisances as well and not just me. You are unfairly picking on my family.

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Pray about it and go on with it. This world is going to HE__ in a hand bag. What is with this world and the people of it. I wouldn't waste anymore time dealing with letters or talking to city council, just do it. More people in this world need to stand up for what they believe in and not let the ONE person who doesn't belive ruin it. After all Christmas is a celebration about the Birth of Jesus Christ. If you are in this to glorify HIM all will prevail! But maybe not with out the opposition, as you can tell. Everyone will meet their maker in the end!!! Hope Everyone Has A Merry Christmas. And please remember why we do this.

JF

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I really feel for you with this problem. Having a problem neighbor is a tough thing to live with, especially when there is no compromise.

Keep in mind that politicians hate bad press....This is your weapon! When the news people stick a microphone in the mayors face and ask him why the city is depriving the children's hospital of donations, well I would love the see the song and dance he will be doing.

As the person before you said...Pray. This time of year is a celebration of Jesus Christ's birth. We give each other gifts during this time as a symbol of the gift that God gave to us...Jesus Christ! Don't let the politicians and a nasty neighbor deprive the Children's hospital of your gift.

Keep up the fight! You will prevail!

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Another update... I just received another registered letter... here is a loose translation

SUBJECT: Collection of funds with a festival of Christmas lights

For a continuation of the letter of ours of November 6, the municipal Council of the City of Vaudreuil-Dorion, I am to inform you that it does not approve your request cited in title.

We inform you legally that if you persist in your endeavor, the city will not hesitate to take the necessary legal action for fines or to put a stop to this show.

We understand your intentions, Mister Johnson, we send you the expression of our better feelings.

I don't know if I mentioned it before but my neighbor was c.c. on this one too.

Well, Thursday looks like it is shaping up to a busy day for me, lawyer to call, media to contact, etc. At this point, I will light up animated with no music just to prove a point if that is all we can do without getting in too much trouble.

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Another potential way to handle this. Maybe you could increase your irrigation business into a Christmas decorating business for the off season. Then you could have many displays across the city. See what they say when there are several displays that synchronize to music.

I for one will pray that the Glory of our Lord shines through inspite of evil efforts.

Chuck

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If your neighbor is concerned about your landscaping in the first place I would consider other options just to mess with him. ex. 5-10 thousand plastic pink flamingo should give him enough to worry about in the summer that he won't even give theChristmas lights a second thought.

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I guess it is time to get out the paint cans. Paint each wall of the house a different non-natural color (purple, hot pink, orange.) Some guy did that here in Greensboro, North Carolina to protest not being able to paint his house a decient (beige) color. I think he even put a toilet out front and planted flowers in it. Ibelieve he got his way.

I can't believe they can attack you without having to attack all light shows. What about churches that have a Christmas Program (or any other program) where people have to park on the street - SAME DISRUPTION to traffic flow.

Your reply to them should be...

NUTS.

Additional comment - I thank God I live in the country. Sure people would not come see my lights way out there but no one can tell me what I can do with our land (as long as it does not pollute the stream.)

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