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Neighbor relations in general


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Tim,

It is due in large part to how your neighbors treated you and problems you've had that I conduct my display the way I do. I try to be extremely respectful and If people are lined up on both sides of the street I will pull the plug until it clears out.

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Again..i have to stand strong and say you cant please everyone. I already know my one neighbor across from me doesnt like any unwanted person on our street. I cant please her and wont give up my LOR for her.She already told me that she doesnt like the people that come visit on the street to see my house and probably thought i would shut down my show because of it. Nope...I dont get alot of traffic like some of you. Maybe 3 to 4 cars watching at most. Only one night on Dec 23rd it was bad and she did call the police and they did nothing but talk to her and not to us.

I will do my best to keep traffic moving, and not run the show late every night. Thats all i can do when my hands are tied.

I cant and wont be able to please everyone where i live and i accept it. Its not that im turning my nose up and being rude...but i have just as much right to live here and do what i want too. This will be my third year using LOR and i even have a neighbor using it for the first time this year on her display in my neighborhood. She isnt on my street, but she is a few streets away. Im looking forward to seeing how her neighbors react.

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snowlovergeorgia wrote:

Again..i have to stand strong and say you cant please everyone. I already know my one neighbor across from me doesnt like any unwanted person on our street. I cant please her and wont give up my LOR for her.She already told me that she doesnt like the people that come visit on the street to see my house and probably thought i would shut down my show because of it. Nope...I dont get alot of traffic like some of you. Maybe 3 to 4 cars watching at most. Only one night on Dec 23rd it was bad and she did call the police and they did nothing but talk to her and not to us.

I will do my best to keep traffic moving, and not run the show late every night. Thats all i can do when my hands are tied.

I cant and wont be able to please everyone where i live and i accept it. Its not that im turning my nose up and being rude...but i have just as much right to live here and do what i want too. This will be my third year using LOR and i even have a neighbor using it for the first time this year on her display in my neighborhood. She isnt on my street, but she is a few streets away. Im looking forward to seeing how her neighbors react.

Snowlover, you're right..you can't please everyone all of the time, that's a fact and I certainly can appreciate and understand your stance.I wouldn't be bullied by a neighbor either, if she doesn't like what you do, that's unfortunate, she misses out.:(

I have struck a mental compromise, I know how far I can "push it" where I live, so I have kept the display what I consider to be reasonable.I always try to be respectful of my neighbors, pay attention to Village Ordinances and codes. If I failed in my obligations to be informed as to what is morally (by common standards)and legally acceptable, then I think I could have a problem. Snowlover, you have been respectful from what I've read..seems to me, your neighbor will just have to live with her choice of opposing what you do.

Putting up a bigdisplay is a choice that we all make. Neighbor issues are always going to be out there, lurking whenever a home is sold orone of usmoves to a new neighborhood. This thread has been so productive. I hope more people will weigh in so that we can all learn from the experiences and advice of others in order to lessen the problems in the 2008 season.

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Just focusing on one part of Carrie's original post. She mentioned that her neighbors are Muslims. Has anyone had problems with non-christian religions objecting to the Christmas display or a part of it? I've heard (even in this thread) of Christians objecting to not having any or enoughJesus Christ content but I haven't heard ofnon-Christians objecting.

To me, if a non-Christian religion were to put out pretty decoration on their houses for an annual celebration I would see no problem and possibly even enjoy it as long as it doesn't have the usual problems of noise, traffic or late-night strobes. Now my Indian neighbors occasionally participate in a celebration that includes loud music before sunrise but that's a different story.

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Last year was my 1st year for animation. I did notify some, but not all, of the neighbors. Of the ones I talked to, they were supportive. Like everyoneelse, I am very respectful of my neighbors and kept my show hours short... 6-9pm Sun-Fri and 11pm on Saturday. The week before Christmas, my show ran until 11pm.

I only had one,sometimes two cars a night or sometimes none at all. I did not advertize, nor do I have any plans to do so.

Butout ofrespectfor my neighbors and even though I had no complaints or traffic issues last season...Iam going to shorten up those hours for my 08 show. Probably only 8:30pmon weekdays & 10pm on Saturday.

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Neighbors are kind of funny. You really never know how they are going to react. My first year I only had two people sort of complain and I got a big thumbs up from most the people in the neighborhood. Many of them even stopped to tell me how awesome it was and they don't mind the traffic. Some of them even wanted to do the same thing as I did and both the neighbors on the side of me where thinking of joining in.

This last season though I learned there is "traffic" and then there is "*#&$TRAFFIC@$#@%" Before I get any media coverage, there was already a lot of traffic. I am thinking back wishing I didn't do any media coverage for 2007 but I think I would be in the same situation as right now since a lot of people were already coming out before the media hit.

We did get traffic under control and had a system so neighbors no longer had to wait to get to their homes but the problem is living in a Gated Community, many of the people have a low tolerance and there are some that are paranoid and think the world is out to steal their children and rob their homes. This is why some of them live in a Gated Community. Not all are like this but there are some in my neighborhood.

Even before our HOA was going to have a vote I thought about not doing it for 2007 but was strongly encouraged by others in the neighborhood to do it and they were looking forward to it.

After 2007 many people change their minds and many of the people that did support it were now against it but there were several for it still and told me it would be very sad to see it leave.

The thing that kept me fighting for it was that several neighbors wanted it to stay. If I had 4 or 5 people against it and everybody else was just "Neutral" I would not do it again but many of the neighbors felt like they were a part of it (even though I did all the work. :) ).

The lady from across the street is angry at all the other neighbors that said "No". I talked to her about a month ago and she was so flustered that she said she thought about moving.

So when deciding on what you should do for your Christmas Display, defiantly get all your neighbors comments. If most of them are negative, you might want to rethink a few things.

I tried to please my neighbors as much as I could including me and friends putting in 300+ of Man Hours into traffic control which did help a ton but not enough to please.

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I've always tried to be a good neighbor and I've even consistently plowed the sidewalks for the street (to the bus stop)and even plowed the road when we had a 38" blizzard. I have a buddy who lives nearby with a really big tractor ... and he comes over to scoop us out when its really bad. I figure I'll do that and perhaps even more just to make sure the street is as clear as possible. I only have 10 homes on my cul de sac and 1 is empty (foreclosure). Most of my neighbors keep to themselves or have said they are ok with it. I hope that my traffic will be minimal in 2008 because of how 'out of the way' my subdivision is and how small my town is ... < 40,000 people. And I won't be doing any media of any sort.

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This thread has provided some great information. Thanks to all who have commented. I really feel blessed to live just outside of town with the nearest neighbor being 300 yards away. I don't forsee any of the problems described here, but you never know.This is my first year at this hobby. I certainly sympathize with those of you who have put so much time, money and effort only to have to discontinue or scale back your displays.

-darin

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It is funny that Carrie started this topic as I see some neighbor problems for 08. When we bought this house almost 5 years ago the first thing I asked the builder (who was the head of the HOA) is there anything against having up Christmas lights. Which they told me no and then went on to tell me about my neghbor 2 doors up and his display. When we came in very few people put up lights. I told the neighbors nearest me that we set up a decent display (no animation as of yet, 04/05). Once we were going to make the jump to animatin in 06 I talked to the neighbors and all was well. We had traffic but nothing too horrible. My neighbors actually thought it funny how people would sit and watch our house like a drive in movie. The people who were buying the house across the street came in everynight to watch.

Fast forward to 07. We went larger and more animation, again telling our neighbors. All were excited. We even had neighbors stop by when we were decorating and asking when we were lighting up and what we were adding. We did get recognition from several local papers. That is when traffic started to flow. We had a handful of noghts where traffic backed up to the entrance way (maybe 1/8 a mile tops.) I talked to several neighbors and they were all saying the traffic was no problem. But nosey neighbor across the street (HOA Pres and Sec.) started talking about it/usand it got back to use. So I did what I could to limit traffic. We set out cones so cars couldn't park, directed traffic, etc. But now apparetly at the HOA board meeting MArch 31 the two of them brought up our house and traffic. I spoke to several neighbrs recently, even the neighbor that knows all the happenings around here. All were very happy with our lights and did not want to see anything negative happen. One of the HOA board memebers wants a lighting contest too. But apparently the dynamic duo (husband and wife) may be my problem all because 2 night they sat a few minutes to get home. The best part is they even tell people to come and see them. All my other neighbors say the lights are a great gift even for a slight possible inconvenience for a few nights.

So what do you do? I always go to any neighbor moving on our street to let them know ahead of time. SOme think I am nuts talking Christmas Lights in April. I do ot run them late except weekends and when the kids are out of school. I direct traffic if need be. The way I feel, is if it is a multiple neighbor problem then I would rethink what I am doing. But just for these two, no way. They are the Jones', you kow the ones who have to get everything you want before you get it. The ones that think the world revolves around them and when something happens that does not involve them then they find a way to get involved. I believe that you need to involve the neighbors and yes you have to be considerate of them as well, but at some point there has to be a line. Again, if a number of my beighbors had issue wth the lights then shutting down or downsizing would be a possibility.

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My "new" neighborshappen to beMuslim,they celebrate Ramadan. They have been very tolerant of our displays (both Halloween and Christmas), no complaints, in fact they put up a few strings of lights in 2006. My old neighbors of 18 years were Christian, they didn't particularly like my displays or the trafficthey generate (making comments like "we worship the right way" "you shouldn't use Santa Claus, its about Jesus" "Decorating for Halloween is evil") I smiled,bit my tongueand did my thing but I have also tried to balance my right to celebrate my religious beliefs with the belief thatmy neighbors alsohave a right to get into their driveway..365 days a year without a hassle, that they shouldn'thave to listen to "my" Christmas music, or see wires, Santa Claus, etc.hanging off my house in March, (which this year, due to the frozen conditions, I couldn't do anything aboutuntil recently).

I had numerous muslims come thru our display. They told us they are very religious and that the muslim community generally encourages Christians to be MORE religious, they find that to be a good thing as the Koran specifically mentions Christians and Jews are acceptable and respected faiths and to accept those traditions because they honor the same Allah... (Koran is different with the Hindo/Bhuddist who are considered idol worshippers and are not worthy of life). The idea is they back Christians having all their fanfare for Christmas, but only allow our Children excused abscences and holidays for various Muslim holidays. Local school districts have a problem with this because Muslims work with a calender year thats less then 365.25 days a year so Islamic holidays dont land on the same days or months from year to year.

The problems Muslims have had with Christians and Jews the way I was told is not so much what the Koran says but who the first leader of Islam was after Mohammad's death. Sunni's (Saudi) are the anti Jew/Christian sect that was lead by mohammad's cousin if I got the story right and the Shiit's (Iran) were lead by mohammad's best friend and they are dramatically more compatible with co-existing with Christians and Jews... odd we regarded Iran as our top enemy in the middle east for years but they are only of the only democracies there and the most like what we would like to see develop in the middle east.

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You know I always been big, loud and draw traffic. I wouldnt have taken this path but ironically ALL of the neighbors encourage me. Neighbors not part of our display went so far as last year got their own lime green signs and went and posted directional signs leading traffic to our street from major intersections nearby and they all always been very proactive in calling the newspapers and media to shine attention on us. There was a time I was very low key but it was these neighbors all up and down our road that encouraged us to become the big gaudy traffic jam causing display it has become. Some of them offer parking on their big 1/2 acre front yards, when they have their own Christmas parties... they up and move the party over to our place to check it out, etc.

I have had not one complaint and nothing but encouragement. I cant say its a Florida thing because many neighborhoods have cranky old folks that wouldnt stand for it but here ALL the neighbors from end to end and even some affected during the 20's of December that get massive parking on the next blocks over all come and hang with us and welcome being on or near the "famous street" during Dec.

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I agree with most of what has been posted. You DO need to plan neighbor relations into your display. To a point. There's always going to be one person who is never happy. Or, in my case, a neighbor who gets too drunk and starts yelling at the spectators! If your curious, the story is in another thread in this forum.

It's the old saying, you can't please all of the people all of the time. Lucky for me there's no governing body (other than the town) to say what I can and cannot do. I'd LOVE to shine every lightI have onto the drunk's house. But I wouldn't. It's not the right thing to do. But, still it's nice to know that I could. Sorry Tim if that upsets you.

Scott

Maybe you should try our tactic.... get a cooler and fill it with beer and invite the drunk neighbor over to drink beer and watch the crowds. All our neighbors get drunk night after night over at our house in Dec and I dont even drink. Ends up being a month long block party... and once you start the ball rolling, the neighbors themselves keep the cooler full of beer and they get almost more of a kick out of the fanfair, attention, traffic and crowds then you do!

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Maybe you should try our tactic.... get a cooler and fill it with beer and invite the drunk neighbor over to drink beer and watch the crowds. All our neighbors get drunk night after night over at our house in Dec and I dont even drink. Ends up being a month long block party... and once you start the ball rolling, the neighbors themselves keep the cooler full of beer and they get almost more of a kick out of the fanfair, attention, traffic and crowds then you do!

Now that is the best idea I have heard yet!!!!!!!!!!!!:D

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Maybe you should try our tactic.... get a cooler and fill it with beer and invite the drunk neighbor over to drink beer and watch the crowds. All our neighbors get drunk night after night over at our house in Dec and I dont even drink. Ends up being a month long block party... and once you start the ball rolling, the neighbors themselves keep the cooler full of beer and they get almost more of a kick out of the fanfair, attention, traffic and crowds then you do!

If you were down in Texas, y'all could all stand along the fence and just say "yep" as the cars drive by:D

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  • 2 months later...

On several of the Halloween boards, there have been postings about "inappropriate displays". One display in Ohio was picketed by a woman who said that the witch being hanged in a noose was "insensitive to wiccans" and "violated her religious beliefs". Others have had their displays plastered with religious materials or been visited by "concerned leaders of the community" (read here: self important bigots) and asked to remove parts or their entire display.

HOA are the bane of modern living. My parents live in one. Last year some of the non-Christmas-decorating-neighbors complained that Christmas decorations were being put up the weekend before Thanksgiving, and that some were "too big". I was at their place for Thanksgiving and went to see the "too big" display. It was less than 20 strings of lights and a blow-up. Those people who complained would probably throw a fit at my 20K light display and over 100 LOR channels with music. It's the "I can assert my minority opinion to control my neighbor's lives" that will cause me to NEVER live in a community with a HOA.

Back to the subject of your direct neighbors... I've had frank discussions with my neighbors about what I'm planning each year. No surprises when I erect the cemetary fence at Halloween. No surprises when I put up the two megatrees at Christmas. The only person who doesn't get briefed is my neighbor across the street, who is my main competition for the township holiday decorating contest. LOL.

There will ALWAYS be someone who will complain. You just have to deal with it in an adult manner, without resorting to an "I'll fix them" kind of juvenile retribution. If a direct neighbor approached with a problem, I'd try to work it out. Non-neighbors with a problem, on the other hand, typically don't get much attention.

Craig

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HOA are the bane of modern living. My parents live in one.

I pretty much agree with you. But remember, people who live in HOA's choose to live in HOA's. People can't complain about their liberties being lost when they willingly sign them away...

A friend of mine got a a puppy. Their HOA specifies "no dogs greater than 50 pounds". Now why would they specify that? It's her property... If the dog is a nuisance, then that could be a violation. But a weight violation?? Anyway, she called them up and said "I'm buying a puppy. The breed can be anywhere from 40-60 pounds. What happens if my dog gets to big?" They said they'd get back to her -- they never did...

-Tim

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I also do Halloween and Christmas displays. We live out in the country and don't get much traffic (yet?), but I always check with the neighbors if anything is too bright, too loud or in any way offensive to them (after all they are my neighbors and want to remain friends with them the other 10 months of the year).

My neighbors are always the first to compliment the displays - they especially like the hand carved pumpkins I do -- always do a few scary ones for the older folks, several cartoon characters for the kids and one of a celebrity who passed away during the year that touched our lives in some way (such as Steve Irwin the Corcodile Hunter or Bob Denvar as Gilligan) everyone enjoys the happy memories of such people. No matter how late or loud any display may have been - the neighbors all ask not to change a thing because all of their kids enjoy them and they don't have to spend the time or expense to do their own displays. I do try to add or change stuff every year (always looking for sales).

The real reason I do my displays is for my family - I will never forget when my wife picked up the kids early from day care and my middle child (5 years old at the time) started crying as they turned into the driveway -- she was upset because they came home TOO EARLY and the Christmas lights were not on yet! My whole family loves the anticipation of what the display will look like when I finally turn on the switch the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

I liked what someone else suggested about the cooler of beer - anything that keeps the peace -- after all isn't that part of Christmas too?

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Guest Jeff_Womack

I pretty much agree with you. But remember, people who live in HOA's choose to live in HOA's. People can't complain about their liberties being lost when they willingly sign them away...

Amen brother! When we decided to build we chose a subdivision that is mostly built out and did not have either a HOA or a dang gate. Loving living in the country, so what that I won't get as many visitors or coverage by the news! (see attached)

post-2104-129571050064_thumb.jpg

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Jeff,

That was our main goal as well. NO HOA. Luckily we got a little better then you, we are in town and off of two main roads so lots of will see the display.

As a home designer HOA's are nice because at least they set standards, but thats the only thing I like.

post-977-129571050072_thumb.jpg

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As a home designer HOA's are nice because at least they set standards, but thats the only thing I like.

That's what I like about my suburb-- they have enough (reasonable) zoning regs and standards that HOA's aren't needed. Of course, that doesn't prevent a plethora of them from existing...

-Tim

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  • 3 months later...

We got REALLY Lucky to get the place we Rent.

Our Land Lady is a Wonderful Lady that lets us Decorate for All Holidays and we don't go beyond the Boundaries of our own yard.

Our neighbors Love what we do, we don't bother anyone else, Our Community Loves what we do, which makes us feel especially lucky and happy that we are where we are.

We run our shows, expecially at Christmas and to save on Electricity, every other night, from Sundown to 10:00 p.m.

Because we live in an area where there is Snow, we are unable to tear down Christmas, except on the Patio, until February, when the Thaw begins.

Because the Post office is also on the same Property, we are careful to also respect their Boundaries and run things after they are done with Business for the day.

We also Do Not Decorate on or near their Property boundaries, without expressed Permissions.

We are careful too of the boundaries of their Parking areas.

We don't block Anyone's access to the Post Office.

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I live in a great little neighborhood, it's kind of a tucked away plat off a main road. There is one road in and out. I haven't had too much of a traffic problem over the years, but animation might change that. I won't ever talk to the media. I really like all my neighbors, we have a summer block party on the 4th, kids play ball in the road, and everyone is friendly. I can't cut my lawn without stopping a dozen times to talk to people walking by. As I've been putting up my lights the last couple of Sundays, they have been stopping by and saying how excited everyone is about my display, they always stop by and look at it, I think this year they'll be blown away with the animation. But I am worried about if a lot of people start driving by from other places. The last thing in the world I ever want to do is inconvience my neighbors. I'm going to keep my shows short, and end them early. And as always, I will start dismantleing on New Years day (at least the stuff that isn't encased in ice.)

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