British Columbia

North Vancouver decides against banning Christmas lights after 11 p.m.

Christmas lights in North Vancouver, B.C., will continue to be exempt from municipal bylaws and complaining neighbours.

The proposal got on the district council's agenda but was pulled by the mayor

A motion in front of the District of North Vancouver that would have banned outdoor lights from being illuminated between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. was quickly shot down by council on Monday night.  (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

Christmas lights in North Vancouver, B.C., will continue to be exempt from municipal bylaws and complaining neighbours.

A motion in front of the District of North Vancouver that would have banned outdoor lights from being illuminated between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. was quickly shot down by council on Monday night. 

"It got so much media attention today," said Mayor Mike Little, who expressed some confusion the proposal had been placed on council's agenda to be immediately voted on.

"This is the very first chance this council has had to discuss it," he said.

After it was removed from the agenda, Little showed council a picture of his home on his Zoom background, showing it lit up for the season. 

 

Where did the proposal come from? 

Left unsaid was why staff brought the proposal to ban overnight Christmas lights in the first place.

It was part of a series of proposals to change regulations on single-family homes. Coun. Mathew Bond said consultation over the changes happened over the past two years, specifically to deal with complaints around construction. 

"The issue of noise and light as a nuisance came up specifically due to a neighbourhood dispute," he said.

But Bond said there had only been three complaints about seasonal lighting in the past five years, and didn't believe that met the bar required for a bylaw change. 

"We're all trying to stay physically distant and keep to our household in a dark and kind of dreary Vancouver winter," he said. "People are looking for any chance to bring some lights and some life and some joy to their neighbourhood "

In their proposal report, staff warned that even if council passed the bylaw as recommended, it "will require careful consideration of what is considered decorative/holiday/seasonal lighting."

Based on the city's bylaws, the fine for disobeying the Christmas light bylaw would have been $100. 

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