City orders family to take down Christmas decorations - - The News for South Mississippi

City orders family to take down Christmas decorations

MADISON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

A Madison family said the city is being a Scrooge when it comes to their holiday celebrations.

The Cheeks spent two days putting up Christmas decorations at their home in the Traceland North subdivision.

Now they're being told some of them must go.

Wanda Cheeks says her love for decorating for Christmas is being marred by orders from the City of Madison aimed at two new peacocks on her roof.

"I love Christmas. This is what I do."

The Church Street resident said a Code Enforcement official visited her home Tuesday.

"The city come down and said they need to come down. And I asked him what's the problem, what kind of discomfort are they making and he couldn't answer that. He said the Santa Claus can stay and it's way bigger than the little peacocks. But the peacocks had to come down," said Cheeks.

The 43 year old and her husband Melvin put up the decorations which are on a timer and come on at five p.m. and off at 10:40 p.m..

Cheeks said she was awarded best Christmas decorations for three years in competitions that she didn't even enter.

The Madison resident said she was told neighbors didn't like them.

"My kids and I when we first drove by and saw them up there, one of the first things that they said was that they really liked the peacocks. They thought they were really cute and colorful. And it was different having never seen one," said Church Street resident Marianne Mooney.

She's lived here five years and said the city has repeatedly complained about everything from her painting her shutters and door black which she repainted, to building a back storage coverage which they removed, to paving the spot where her husband parks his work truck.

Cheeks, who is a renter, said neighbors told her about violations like having satellite in the front of her home which she's seen in the neighborhood, but nothing about Christmas decorations.

"Every time they come and complain about something I try to get it right, but this is it. This is little stuff," said the irritated decorator.

"There have been numerous calls to my office complaining about the peacocks on the roof. I always listen to resident concerns. The strength of the community is its citizens. If this is an issue that is litigated, Madison will approach it through the Architectural Control Ordinance," said Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler.

The mayor said that city ordinance prohibits any structure that would decrease property values.

Madison's mayor said the Cheeks are welcome to address the board at the December sixth meeting, but must first call by noon Friday to be placed on the agenda.

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