Lights out for Christmas display?

A spat with the city may keep one of Edmonton's most well-known Christmas displays dark this year.

"The city came out with regulations that make it impossible to operate," said Jerry Dolynchuk. "Some of the people at the city were pretty rude. I just couldn't get nowhere so I just said, 'Fine I'll just stop putting them up. They didn't seem to care at that time."

Dolynchuk has been lighting up Maisie's Magical Christmas House at 144th Avenue and 97th Street for eight years, but city officials say they're worried the traffic and the lights themselves may be too dangerous.

The problem is Dolynchuk has not only decorated his house and lawn, but also a small park beside it.

The city said it began looking into what Dolynchuk was doing a couple of years ago after some neighbours complained about the traffic and parking mayhen that grew up alongside the display.

The city found that Dolynchuk was incorporating more and more city land without permission.

Some of the installations were erected over shalllow fiber optic lines, creating safety concerns, said city spokesperson Ed Plant.

The city approached Dolynchuk with its concerns but Dolynchuk refused to restrict the size of his display and the length of time it stayed up, he said.

"He can change the style of decorations he can put on city land," Plant said. "We would still let him use city land for a temporary placement durign the Christmas season."

Dolynchuk told CBC News the city is asking for too many restrictions.

"One of them is I can't start until Oct. 15th," he said. "This thing takes me three months to set up. That means I'd be finished in the middle of January and it ends on Jan. 7th. Then I have to have everything off by Mar. 1st."

He said he can't take down the display until the snow disappears, which can take until mid-April some winters, including this one.

The city also wanted the display reduced by half, he said.

"They're just destroy it," he said.

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