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Disputes over decorations mark the holiday season

As the holiday season rolls around each December, homeowners in California and across the nation may find themselves immersed in festive music, oversized lawn decorations, twinkling lights - and neighbor disputes. In Connecticut, the residents of one neighborhood have circulated a petition asking for something to be done about a local homeowner's holiday display, which includes 350,000 lights. The 45 petitioners do not specify what type of action they would like taken in this matter.

These petitioners do, however, want the town and police to mitigate the impact that 30,000 visitors over a six-week period have on other homeowners in the vicinity. Street parking is temporarily limited in the area near the display, and some residents appear to feel that the high volume of traffic coupled with the seasonal parking restriction is a significant inconvenience, as well as a public safety concern. In response to the petition, the owner of the display has told news sources that his family is working to appease the neighbors in this ongoing situation.

The spectacle that lies at the heart of this dispute has grown over 18 holiday seasons. The extravaganza includes a small chapel, multiple train sets and a sleigh that provides a photo opportunity for visitors. Although the display is offered free to the public, donations to benefit a children's hospital are accepted.

News reports do not indicate whether the neighborhood in this particular situation is governed by a homeowners association. Because a neighbor dispute may be difficult to navigate under any set of circumstances, however, California residents who find themselves embroiled in one may want to turn to a real estate lawyer for assistance.

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