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City Hall doesn't appreciate my lights


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What about non-christmas exterior lighting? If they aren't going to ask everyone in the city to turn off all exterior lighting that might be bothering a neighbor next door, across the road, or down the street, I don't think they can insist you shut your lights (be them Christmas lights, flood lights, or someother type of garden/walkway lights) down.

Good luck and let us know when you're ready for us to start contacting the city with complaints that you aren't allowed to put your lights up.

-Chris

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Well we have made a family decision and I am now pulling out all my hair on how to reconfigure everything to go at my in-laws house. We have checked with their city (they only live about a 5 to 10 minute drive from us - but are in a different city) and as long as the neighbors don't complain we are in the clear. My in-laws are friends with all their neighbors and my mother in law called them all and they are all very excited that we are moving the show close to them so they don't have to drive to my place. My son is excited because we don't have to stop the collecting for the local children's hospital and I am somewhat happy because I won't have the stress of having it here considering I am having a c-section for baby #3on December 10th. Plus, last year our biggest night was Christmas Eve and we always celebrate that at my in-laws so it will be nice to enjoy the people coming to the show as well as our private festivities this year.

I am currently in the process of contacting all the media in regards to us getting shut down by city hall and that we are having to move it. I am also planning to "test" out some of my synchros here (like my arches) before I move it so that I can freak my neighbor out and let him run again to city hall. Just for a laugh - I like to keep him busy.

Needless to say this next two weeks is going to be insane because nothing really fits at my in-laws - I built 4 beautiful window frames complete with coro for the three colors I am using this year and will most likely end up just staking them in the front yard of the other house. I purchased/planted 3 maple trees this year just to light up and now I have nothing at the in-laws. Let alone I have no idea how I am going to get so many amps out to the LORs... (my father in-law does not want any cords across thedriveway)but as they would say... the show must go on.

I will let you know how the media response goes... and again thank you all for all the support.

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Good luck...sorry to hear about your neighbor. I agree with everyone else, go to the media. I would also consider putting a sign at your house to say where the show went, AND WHY it went there!! Your fans will want to know where to go find it.

Not to spread ill-will against your neighbor, but I couldn't help but think that while I was talking to the media, it might slip that your neighbor, Mr/Mrs Bah-humbug, is really the source of the complaints and the city' actions. I would also be upset that the neighbor is receiving CC's of your correspondence with the city. It shouldn't really be their business.

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Trust me, it will be slipping that the second to last person cc'd on the letters from the city happens to be my neighbor. I will be making sure that all that are able to know, will know. Also, part of the reason we chose to move the show is the money we would have had to pay in fines is now allocated to pursuing some things against the neighbor in hopes of giving him a taste of his own medicine (I know that this won't make him stop his actions but it will make me feel better).

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I am sure that whatever I do my neighbor will be looking for a by-law that I could possibly be in violation of to some degree. I am hoping this legal wrangling that we are starting tomorrow will put the city as well as this lovely neighbor on notice and I can just enjoy my family.

I am sure my neighbor will be so happy that he "won" on this that he won't care what kind of person it makes him look like to the rest of the world. I will say for the record that a couple of neighbors that recently started to support him on this anti-Christmas light scheme will no longer be welcome to borrow a cup of sugar from me. As my husband would say - we have enough friends we don't need to hang out with the neighbors. The greatest part is that we are showing my son that even though there are people out in the world that make poor choices, the ones that make the good choices will win out in the end even if it meant moving the show.

As soon as the press starts I will keep you all posted

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So eight days after I left my local councillor a message he decides to call me back. He says that he can not understand why I am upset about being told not to the show and I should do the show on the Hospital. I asked him how many fines are they going to give out this year for people with a lot of lights on their houses. He said we were excessive at 10,000 lights and they could not allow me to go up to the 35,000 we planned for this year. He also said that he had a petition with 31 names on it - if I count up all the houses on the street - I think there are 18. My response was that I wasn't surprised that he could get that many signatures when I know that he has told people many lies about us for example that we used the money we collected last year to pay off people at city council. ( He even said this to one of the city inspectors)

I let him know that we would not be doing the show here but would still be putting up lights - and he said that was fine - I snapped back that he would still be receiving pictures of our house from the neighbor because that is the type of person that he is.

Itold him that the city didn't even give us a chance to compromise - change venue or only do the show for two weeks, etc. His response was that the council didn't feel like that was an option so they opted to shut us down all together - and maybe we could work something out for next season (oh, to talk like a politcian) I also let him know that we will be going to the local media as we will have to let them know about the change of location for this years show and that we will not be shy to share why we having to move.

On the brighter side of things, I managed to get 80 amps out to the in-laws front yard without anything running on the driveway so it looks like we are ready to run.

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If I was in your situation, I'd do the entire show as big as possible then I'd stand outside every night with a Santa hat and hand out candy canes collecting names and phone numbers of folks who support my display.

Then when the city shuts me down, I'd start calling and get them to call city hall and make a big noise. They're being Grinches and thay need a lot of people telling them so.

But that's just me.

Politicians don't see the light until they feel the heat.

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I think you're doing the right thing. It's too close to the holidays to try and put everything up just to forced to put it down. Get your lights up at your inlaws and we'll all do some fact finding before next year. As the laws may be different where you are, I would like to know what options I have if I run into the same situation. Luckily my whole street lights up. I'm the only LOR user but we all look forward to lighting up the street. I honestly don't have the guts to ask too many questions this close to CHRISTMAS. But, I would like to know where the city stands.

Again, good luck. Don't miss a chance to be an the radio, TV or newspaper as often as you can. While your neighbor may have friends at city hall, it may be time to make some friends at other outlets.:tree::waycool::tree: LIGHT IT UP!

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Well, the website is now updated, http://www.johnsonirrigation.com/e/light/xmasshow.html

As far as some suggesting that I should still go ahead here at my own residence, the lawyer suggested that seeing as though they are saying I could be in violation on three seperate sections of the by-law, I would be looking at $200 per infraction per day and then I may also have to pay for the lawyer to fight any type of injunction they may come up with. Sha also said that with a petition from the direct neighbors, I would have a harder time in court. I would rather spend my time and money trying to shut this neighbor up, once and for all so that maybe next year I will be able to do it here - who knows?!

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I looked at your web site. You failed to mention in your last post that you include a link to e-mail your city hall.:devil:

I suggest you write a form letter about how tragic it is that city hall is taking money away from a children's hospital. Post it in a new thread (so more see it). With instructions to cut and paste the letter and send it off to city hall.

Also ask the PC members to forward that letter to everybody in their personal address book, with the same instructions.

Lets see how city hall functions with a full inbox!

Scott

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I actually got a response. I don't live in Canada, butdecided to e-mail them as a Christmas decorating enthusiast.I found it interesting that they say the problem with the FM transmitter is possible interference with radio and TV stations. They just don't understand.

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This man has made our life a living nightmare for two years and will not let us breath without the city approving it so I am not surprised that he has gone overboard on the lights.

The high road is for wimps. Go get a copy of "Get Even: The Complete Book of Dirty Tricks" by George Hayduke. Then proceed to systematically (and anonymously) ruin his life.

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dpeters11 wrote:

I actually got a response. I don't live in Canada, butdecided to e-mail them as a Christmas decorating enthusiast.I found it interesting that they say the problem with the FM transmitter is possible interference with radio and TV stations. They just don't understand.

In the U.S. a city would never be able to prohibit a small FM transmitter. Regulation of that stuff is solely a Federal issue and states/cities can't interfere in it. Perhaps Canada has a similar situation?

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dpeters11 wrote:

Maybe, but it's a bit hard to figure a 200 yard range transmitter really interfering with anything, if you are a responsible owner. But yeah, if the cities can have their own rules, they can be as strict as they want.

Unfortunately the legally allowable range here in the US amounts to only about 200 feet, not yards... Canada should be about the same...

Greg

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I had my first radio interview yesterday - here is a link to what the host put on her website http://www.cjad.com/shows/19170- everyone that called in was upset that the city had shut us down/made us move - a couple of the people that called in were even from my city. I also got a call from the local paper and they interviewed me and said that they were going to call the city council and see their response - so hopefully that will be in this weeks paper.

Only 9 more days until my baby arrives so I am hoping to get the word out as quickly and as much as possible in the next week. We light up tonight so wish us luck. I am quite disappointed in this years weather though - man is it cold and snowy up here.

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That's sounds AWESOME. Glad everything seems to be going in a positive manner. I'm in the process of trying to program more songs. Luckily for me this WAS at my neighbor’s request. Congratulations on your baby. Our son christened today.

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I bet your getting excited about that baby arriving! I hope everything goes well for you.

I just sent this in an email to whoever it was they offered the addy for. I did it quickly so I hope it sounds ok.

I think I have heard it all!

For what reason cant these people have a nice Christmas display, and raise money for a much needed charity?

Have you ever thought of what some people go through during the holiday season? This is a very depressing time for many single people and families as well. To be able to see a nice light show is able to take the worries away from them for just a moment and be able to maybe reflect back to better times and fun memories. Have you thought about all the children and elderly people that look forward to creating new memories just by doing something simple by going for a ride to enjoy the fruits of someone elses hard labor and spending quality family time together?

Isnt this time of year suppose to be for sharing and caring and helping out those that are less fortunate than others? Are the Johnsons causing any harm by wanting to do this for their community?

I would think you would be proud to know you have someone in your community that is willing to do this not for themselves but for many many others that can benefit from it.

I hope you put some serious thoughts into this matter and let them once again have their lights at their residence and not the next town over!

Thank you

Peggy Sterling

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