Schaumburg holiday lights display dampened by new village rule

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Saturday, December 4, 2021
Schaumburg holiday lights display dampened by new village rule
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Brian Koehler is known for lighting up his Schaumburg block for Christmas.

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (WLS) -- The Koehler family used to go all out for the holidays, setting up a display that attracted visitors from all over. But a change in village rules is putting a damper on their plans.

Brian Koehler is known for lighting up his Schaumburg block for Christmas.

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"I've just always loved Christmas," he said. "And it's always just been fun to do. And now I have a son and he enjoys helping me do it now."

But this year he has taken a much different approach with his holiday display to send a message to village officials.

"So all I have up this year, just the Grinch with one arch and then another arch on the ground," Koehler said. "He's showing, basically, the village pulling my lights down."

Last spring, Schaumburg trustees voted to enforce a ban on temporary displays that stretch into public right of ways. They said the displays posed a potential danger to the public and that the village could be held liable.

"I've never had anybody get hurt. I've never had any problems," Koehler explained. "Even to my knowledge, I don't think anybody in Schaumburg has been injured due to the Christmas light displays."

In years past, Koehler would put up archways over the sidewalk in front of his home.

"It's always been a draw. A lot of people love seeing it," he said.

Residents can face at least a $100 fine if they're in violation of the ordinance. But village officials want to stress that residents can still have holiday displays in their yards.

"I just I didn't have it in me to do it," he said. "I guess the village really put a damper on everything. So I'm thinking about what I'm going to do for next year. My wife wants me to do it."

But for now, the Grinch has center stage.