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Lights out: District of North Vancouver proposal would dim Christmas displays at night

Last Updated Nov 23, 2020 at 2:15 pm PDT

Summary

District of North Vancouver council will look over a proposal that would restrict when Christmas lights can be on

If approved, bylaw changes in District of North Vancouver would require residents shut off Christmas displays at 11 p.m.

NORTH VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A proposal set to go before District of North Vancouver council on Monday would force residents to shut off their Christmas light displays at 11 p.m. every night, if approved.

According to the agenda for the meeting, council is asked to give the bylaw amendment first, second, and third readings.


The changes would be made to the Nuisance Abatement Bylaw, such that one section is deleted and substituted by “Christmas or holiday lights between November 15 and January 15, Halloween lights between October 1 and November 7, provided such lighting is turned off by 11:00 p.m. each day and remains off overnight until the following day.”

Under the bylaw proposed, officers — either bylaw enforcement or RCMP — would be allowed to “enter at any reasonable time onto property to inspect and determine whether the regulations of this bylaw are being complied with.”

Coun. Mathew Bond says the district has had two complaints about Christmas lights over the last five years.

He says the motion is an overreach, especially during the pandemic.

“Whatever we can do during this winter to bring a little bit more light and joy into people’s lives, I think, is going to be really important for people’s mental health. If Christmas lights being on a 12 o’clock at night or 6 o’clock in the morning is part of that, I think that should be allowed,” Bond says.

“It’s not something I’m going to be supporting,” Bond adds.

Mayor Mike Little said the district doesn’t have many tools to “respond to over-the-top displays” that could be considered a nuisance.

“Many residents of the District of North Van have made their wishes quite clear over the weekend, and tonight, Council will have its first chance to discuss the matter in over a year,” Little said.

‘Ridiculous’

The proposal is receiving a lot of reaction online, with some likening the move to something the Grinch would do.

“Ridiculous, We (sic) turn them off when we go to bed…and that is sometimes past 11 PM!” one person writes.

Others question what the reasoning is behind the 11 p.m. cutoff, while some say the COVID-19 pandemic should be a factor to consider.

“I get it most years for conserving power. However, considering the lockdown and the unpleasant time we’re in, wouldn’t it make sense to leave Holiday (sic) lights alone for the time being? North Van district council couldn’t be more screwed up on this issue,” a tweet reads.

“Are that many people concerned about Christmas lights being on after 11:00pm? (sic)”