November 20, 2017

A Phoenix couple have ended their 250,000-light home Christmas display that had become a local tradition because city officials reportedly received two complaints from neighbors about the traffic over the past five years. The local government told them they’d have to hire five or six people to direct traffic so they just packed it in. The full story is at the link.

I know it’s everyone’s first instinct to side with the homeowners, but you can see how having your street filled with bright lights, noise, traffic and crowds every night could get pretty annoying. I might be ambivalent on whether this was really government overreach if they hadn’t also told the couple they needed a permit to keep giving away hot chocolate.

I hope that last month, they made sure that every homeowner had a city permit to give away chocolate to trick-or-treaters.


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  • Jennifer Trombley

    11/21/2017 09:54 AM

    Ugh!! Even when people feel as though they are doing the right thing to make things happier someone has to butt in it is a sad state when everyone is offended and instead of telling folks to toughen up and take the good with the bad too many people have opinions and in order to make someone happy we have to change either history or the way we rearrange how we believe when will the true meaning of freedom of speech freedom of religion be honored... I understand overwhelming lights and music can be a little too much however some of these places are in the country with folks just trying to give and get a little happiness

  • Lori Hulsey

    11/20/2017 11:30 PM

    Don't give the government ideas about requiring a permit to hand out Halloween candy. Because here in California, I can guarantee our legislators will take that idea and run with it!

  • George Simmons

    11/20/2017 10:01 PM

    Two complaints in 5 years? And none from their immediate neighbors? No safety concerns? That's outrageous! Someone's on a power trip. I can see why the city might require a health or peddler's permit. But traffic directors? It's not the residents' fault if the streets aren't up to standards that will allow smooth traffic flow. I do a fairly well-attended display (hundreds of cars on a slow night) and there's no way I'd tolerate our city dictating terms that they can't cite in existing ordinances.

  • Bob young

    11/20/2017 09:34 PM

    The neighbors need to deal with it for a few weeks around Christmas and just shut up. From experience I can tell you the complaints are exaggerated at least ten fold.

  • Gayle Johnson

    11/20/2017 08:18 PM

    To the Phoenix officials: You, like so many who "play up to" the FEW, are responding to only TWO complaints in five years, and ignoring the hundreds or thousands who were drawn to this Christmas display of lights each year. To you I say: BAH HUMBUG Grinchs! May Santa Claus leave coal in your stockings this year!

  • James Reynolds

    11/20/2017 06:58 PM

    I fully agree that if people enjoy viewing the fruits of their labor to the extent hundreds or even thousands wait patiently to drive past it appears government over reach to shut it down because of complaints by 2 neighbors. I have maintained for many years that Christmas is no longer celebrated for the correct reasons and has become a commercial holiday with sales figures being the bottom line.

  • Susan K. Meyer

    11/20/2017 06:38 PM

    Scrooge is alive and well and living in Arizona. :-(

  • Bill Gannon

    11/20/2017 05:55 PM

    That America, is sadly our current government: kill human kindness or tax it out of existence.