Christmas light display gets tentative go-ahead in Flower Hill

Christmas light display gets tentative go-ahead in Flower Hill
Bob Young's Christmas lights display in Flower Hill. The display has caused controversy in the village. (Photo by Luke Torrance)

For the first half of the year, the Flower Hill trustees and village resident Robert Young remained mired in a battle over Young’s Christmas lights display. The village insisted that the display — and the visitors who came to see it — was a distraction, while Young said he only wanted to celebrate the holiday and remember his deceased daughter.

In contrast to the protracted arguments at previous meetings, the discussion on Young’s light display during Monday’s meeting was succinct and civil. Though the application could not be officially approved until the next meeting in December, Young received permission to start setting up the display.

“You did an excellent job putting this together,” said village Administrator Ronnie Shatzkamer, describing the plan for 9 Sunnyvale Road that Young had given to the board.

According to  Jeffrey Blinkoff, the village attorney, the plan came out of meetings between Young and the village.

One of the biggest issues of last year’s display was traffic control. The village sent workers to direct traffic and prevent cars from stopping in the middle of Sunnyvale Road. Young got along with these workers in the past, but he said last year one worker became aggressive with him and with motorists. On Monday, Young recommended that the village use the Port Washington Police Department to direct traffic.

“I’d be open to talking to them,” said Mayor Robert McNamara. “Why not … we’ll get the group in and chat with them.”

Young said the group was willing to volunteer.

Young and Trustee Randall Rosenbaum went through the plan. The lights would go off at 9 p.m. on most nights, with a few exceptions around Christmas Day. The lights on the north and south sides of the house would not flash with the music.

Young also said that he will put out a mailbox for “letters for Santa” and that he will collect toys for Christmas Magic, which provides toys for orphaned and homeless children on Long Island.

In the end, Young’s application was unanimously approved.

During the public hearing part of the meeting, the board approved Local Law M, which installed several stop signs along Bonnie Heights Road. Shatzkamer said the law had been passed as a resolution already since it was a safety issue. Several parents came in earlier this year to complain to the board about speeding on the road, which is home to several families with children.

The rest of the meeting focused on updates from around the village. A new traffic island was constructed at the intersection of Ridge Drive and Port Washington Boulevard.

McNamara said that any road work on Middle Neck Road would not begin until spring. The village also received a request for an exemption from the impact fee from the owners of 1045 North Blvd., a long-dormant project that is finally ready to move ahead.

Reach reporter Luke Torrance by email at [email protected], by phone at 516-307-1045, ext. 214, or follow him on Twitter @LukeATorrance.

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