Christmas Displays Brings Charges of Harassment

A Rockland, Massachusetts man says he is being wrongfully bullied by his town because he has a passion for Christmas and displaying blowmolds, Christmas lights and other festive decorations. A disgruntled neighbor, who happens to be the town collector, is reportedly behind the effort to fine the man repeatedly for running a business out of his home in retaliation for the holiday displays he puts up.

Local newspaper The Enterprise shows David Balch in front of his Rockland home and tells the story of his journeys to bring new decor items into his collection. Those pieces he does not need or want he routinely sells to other collectors.

Balch likens his hobby to occasionally holding a yard sale to clear out unwanted items and that it isn’t a business at all.

But those claims have done little to prevent a town zoning enforcement officer from observing Balch’s transactions with those who visit him to purchase unwanted items. Twice Balch has been fined $300 for violating zoning regulations that ban businesses in residential areas.

Balch contends it is all about the neighbor, Judy Hartigan, and has even set up a Facebook page detailing their long ongoing dispute. Additional photos of Balch’s display can be found on the Facebook page. Balch has lived in the home for over a decade and claims Hartigan has complained about his Christmas display many times. He feels he is being harassed by the town and that Hartigan is instigating it.

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