The City of Kelowna has threatened a resident with a $500 fine if he doesn’t tone down the Christmas music coming from his outdoor display.
Paul Brandt’s home, in the Rutland neighbourhood of Kelowna, B.C., features hundreds of flashing lights, inflatable holiday characters, and a two-metre-tall Christmas tree that pumps out festive music.
But the fake festive fir, in particular, isn’t sitting well with Brandt’s next-door neighbour.
“She told me it was unacceptable — that she could hear the Christmas tree over her TV,” says Brandt. “I just shook my head. I don't get how you could hear it.”
Brandt says he has spent more than $1,000 creating the winter wonderland for his children, so he wasn’t keen to turn it off.
Over the weekend, however, a bylaw officer determined the music was excessive, and warned that a fine could be levied if Brandt didn’t dial things down.
"A lot of people have different tolerances for noise,” says Tom Wilson, spokesman for the City of Kelowna. “You know, one person’s music is another person’s noise."
With the threat of a $500 fine looming, Brandt has moved his Christmas display onto the roof of his townhouse and taped over the speakers to muffle the sound.
“Everybody I've talked to — all my work colleagues, and everybody else I've talked to on Facebook, social media — they all think it's ridiculous. It's a bit of a joke.”