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Long Island homeowner says village lawmakers are unfairly targeting his Christmas display

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Long Island homeowner Bob Young says the Village of Flower Hill is placing unreasonable restrictions on his annual Christmas display — a Christmas display that is partially erected in memory of his late daughter.

Bob and his wife Marie lost their daughter — also named Marie — five years ago to an eating disorder.

What are the details?

After raising an elaborate Christmas display every year since 1996, the Young family says that they're now being targeted and possibly subjected to permits, hour restrictions, and a $100 daily fee for every day the display runs during the holiday season.

WCBS-TV reported that the annual display features "music" and "synchronized blinking patterns," and has typically drawn a large crowd of observers — and some of the neighbors aren't necessary happy about the traffic around the display.

According to WCBS, locals have complained that the road on which the Youngs live becomes "overrun with gawkers at Christmas time," which reportedly "creates safety hazards and noise" that negatively impacts the neighborhood.

WCBS reported that one resident said that the Young family has an "obligation to tone it down."

Another reportedly added that he believes the music on the display should be turned down at a certain point in the evening.

Others offered voices of support, if not tolerance.

"I don’t necessarily have a problem with [the display]," one man said. And a woman added, "Leave it up, leave it alone. I am happy with Christmas all the time."

"This law is obviously directed only at me," Young told WCBS' Jennifer McLogan. "I’m the only one that fits the criteria they’re defining."

Anything else?

The family revealed that they have been the recipients of letters from supporters who know about their personal situation with the Youngs' late daughter.

"My husband was thinking of not lighting the house at all, and we discussed it, and I said, 'You know Marie loved our Christmas lights and we should not stop because of her death, we should use it to make it a positive impact,'" Marie explained.

Instead of dismantling their annual plans, however, the family began building even bigger and began collecting donations for a charity in their daughter's name.

"Christmas was [our daughter's] favorite time of year, and in her memory, we started a foundation to help teens and young adults suffering from eating disorders and other addictive behaviors, that take the lives of far too many young people every year," Bob told the Port Washington Patch.

"This year, we are pledging a portion of our donations to this program, which provides direct financial support to those needing treatment," he added.

 

So what's going to happen?

Deputy Mayor Brian Herrington said, "Residents have spoken to us about landscape and security lighting on residential and commercial properties shining into homes, excessive density of lighting on properties, and a temporary lighting display that draws large audiences," according to Newsday.

A public hearing on the issue is scheduled for May 7.

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