HOA goes after Christmas light display

Article and Video Courtesy of 
MY FOX Channel 13 -- TAMPA

Reporter Peter Linton-Smith
Published December 18, 2009

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HUDSON - Not long after Thanksgiving, Yves Dandurand started work on the Christmas display that would go up in his front yard.

"It took me over a week to build everything piece by piece," Dandurand said.

The display covers must of the tiny front yard of his Beacon Woods town house. His neighbors seem to like the display.

"It was in very good taste that he put the up there. I'll tell you, I'm all for them," said Dandurand's neighbor Artie Coll.

The Beacon Woods Civic Association, the group representing home owners, is not nearly as excited about the display. It sent Dandurand a letter saying much of the display violates the Beacon Woods deed restrictions.

"The issue is very simple; the issue has to do with the fence," said association president Tom Pohl. "Fences in Beacon Woods are not allowed."

The association wrote a letter reminding Dandurand the fence used to support many of the lights on his display was not permitted.

"We're not Grinches. We're not going to tell people to tear down their Christmas displays," Pohl said. He added "...we take tremendous pride in the Christmas displays we have here."

But the letter reminding Dandurand that part of his Christmas display violates deed restrictions goes too far, in some residents' opinions

"I don't think it's right. I feel that people that people should be able to decorate for the holiday season," said Jenny Buska, a neighbor.

"I think it's ridiculous. He's even inspired me to put up some lights, which I never do," said neighbor Jerry Giles, who lives around the corner from Dandurand.

As for the future of his display, Dandurand said "I don't want to fight. I just hope they have common sense, what they did...was wrong."

The HOA president says the association's next move depends on what happens to that display when the holidays are over.