The ongoing feud between the City of Plantation, Florida and the mega-Christmas light display known as Hyatt’s Extreme Christmas could be coming to a head as the City has now levied fines and filed a lawsuit against the Hyatts. The display has made news for years as it has sought out greater media attention in its fight against the city. Critics of the Hyatts now tell Defend Christmas.com the city has the display “on the ropes” as it has refused settlement offers from the Hyatts and seeks to increase fines for ongoing code violations and pressure on the city budget for added police presence and traffic support.
The feud centers on the fact that the display is popular and draws thousands of visitors to a residential area not designed to handle high traffic.
Complaints from neighbors about the traffic, trash, noise and vandalism in the area because of the popularity of the display has led to court battles and ongoing media outbursts between the two parties.
It is a bitter feud short on Christmas spirit: the Hyatts have led local efforts to oust the mayor in campaigns (calling her “anti-Christmas”) while the local police department has accused the Hyatt’s of being irresponsible.
Earlier this spring the Sun Sentinel reported that the Hyatts offered to cut back the size of their display from more than 200,000 lights to a “meager” 50,000 lights and to remove a Ferris wheel on the front lawn that gives endless rides to stuffed animals. They also offered to stop promoting their lights on the Internet if the city would waive the fines for code violations.
The City of Plantation immediately refused the offer.
The Hyatts appear to have once again dug in their heels, moving their website to a new domain and renewing their efforts on social media to gather support for online petitions supporting their cause. They claim the city unfairly imposes fines, blocks roads and detracts from their efforts to raise money for charity.
While it remains to be seen if the Hyatt display will return for Christmas 2015 neighbors and critics of the display are thinking the city will continue to increase the pressure on the Hyatt family to quit.