Schaumburg resident calls trustees Grinches over holiday display restriction

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  • Brian Koehler of Schaumburg this year is letting the Grinch beside a pushed-down arch of lights be the centerpiece of his holiday decorations, to send a message to village leaders who voted in the spring not to let him continue putting up arches of lights over the village sidewalk.

    Brian Koehler of Schaumburg this year is letting the Grinch beside a pushed-down arch of lights be the centerpiece of his holiday decorations, to send a message to village leaders who voted in the spring not to let him continue putting up arches of lights over the village sidewalk. Courtesy of ABC 7 Chicago

  • Schaumburg officials in April voted to enforce a ban on displays that cross sidewalks into the public right of way, such as this one by Brian Koehler. His decorations this year are a Grinch-themed protest.

    Schaumburg officials in April voted to enforce a ban on displays that cross sidewalks into the public right of way, such as this one by Brian Koehler. His decorations this year are a Grinch-themed protest. Courtesy of Brian Koehler

 
By Kayleigh Padar
Daily Herald correspondent
Updated 12/5/2021 8:06 AM

A Schaumburg resident who for 20 years created large holiday spectacles featuring colorful, lighted arches is now using his decorations to send a message to village officials, who earlier this year voted to enforce a ban on displays that cross sidewalks.

"So all I have up this year, just the Grinch with one arch and then another arch on the ground," Brian Koehler told ABC 7. "He's showing, basically, the village pulling my lights down."

 

Village officials voted 5-1 in April to enforce a measure that prohibits decorations that cross into the public right of way following complaints about extension cords getting in the way of pedestrians and concerns the village could be sued if someone got hurt.

"As a board, we owe it to the entire village to enforce ordinances that are there for safety reasons," Mayor Tom Dailly said in April.

Trustee George Dunham said in April that Koehler's arches were not guilty of safety lapses, but the majority of board members said there was no way to differentiate between those who are careful and those who are not.

"The problem is if we do that, we let ourselves in for the potential of having to defend ourselves against people who don't do it right," Dunham said in April.

Trustee Jack Sullivan, who cast the only vote against enforcing the ban, supported a $100 permitting process in which those who had such displays would have to demonstrate that they carried insurance.

Koehler started a petition on change.org to urge the village to overturn the ban. It's reached over 1,700 signatures.

"I guess the village really put a damper on everything," Koehler told ABC 7. "So I'm thinking about what I'm going to do for next year."

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