Family frustrated over Christmas light controversy after being ordered to take down part of display

OAKWOOD — This is the time of year when Christmas decorations are in just about any neighborhood.

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One family in Oakwood has a Christmas light display that is hard to miss, but some of their decorations are creating problems.

Josiah Templeton and his wife want the community to join in on their holiday spirit.

Their home on Wonderly Avenue and Hathaway Road is hard to miss as they have decorative arches up to spread holiday cheer.

“We open up a walk-through for the kids to walk through and have a good time,” Templeton said.

The City of Oakwood recently sent a letter to the Templetons about their decorations, specifically their arches.

“They sent an email saying if it’s not done by Monday, then we’re going to come remove it,” Templeton said.

The festive arches go over the sidewalk and extend onto the grass area next to the street, which is the city’s property.

“I made it tall enough because the encroachment level is 8 feet so I made it 8 feet and 4 inches,” Templeton said.

Templeton says he did get permission over the summer to set up the arches.

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“They said you can as long as you don’t have any cords going over the sidewalk,” Templeton said.

Oakwood’s Law Director and City Attorney Robert Jacques said there was a miscommunication.

Templeton asked the Horticulturist Department, but Jacques said he should’ve asked the zoning department. This department would have said no.

The arches could become a problem if there is heavy snowfall this year as they could block the snowplows from clearing a path.

“I tried to make sure it was wide enough for the little baby snowplows they had that go down there,” Templeton said.

Templeton said he is keeping the arches up for the tradition and in honor of one of his employee’s children.

“He committed suicide we were actually going to have a suicide awareness installation this year,” Templeton said.

Templeton has compromised and pushed the arches against the fence on the side of his home but in his front yard, they are still on display the way he wants.

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