Battle rages over Plantation Christmas lights display

Police claim homeowners are acting 'irresponsibly'

PLANTATION, Fla. – It's a holiday battle that only the Grinch could love.

An ongoing war of words between Plantation homeowners and the city over the family's Christmas lights display took a trip down a dark chimney on Friday with the police claiming the family is acting "irresponsibly."

The issues stem from neighbors calling with complaints over traffic and litter caused by the "Hyatt Extreme Christmas" in Plantation Acres.

Mark and Kathy Hyatt's display has grown over 20 years and now contains almost 200,000 lights and has been featured on national television shows.

But for as long as the Hyatt's have tried to make the season bright in South Florida, their neighbors have felt that they've been stuck with a lump of coal in their stockings.

In an effort to appease the angry neighbors, Plantation Police have arranged for an area around the display that would only allow pedestrian access on foot. But the Hyatt family believes the city wants to turn out the lights on their lights.

Using Facebook to voice their anger on Thursday, the Hyatt's posted an apology to the families who would not be able to see their extravaganza, "particularly the elderly, children, disabled & special needs visitors who are unable to walk the mile long walk."

The Hyatt's go on to accuse Plantation mayor Diane Veltri Bendekovic and the city council of wasting tax dollars and abusing their power; asking visitors to email the officials to voice their displeasure.

Plantation police responded with a statement on Friday saying they are not against holiday displays or against Christmas, but that they want to make sure the Hyatt's display is consistent with others in the neighborhood and doesn't cause a nuisance or threaten public safety.

The statement goes on to say that in the Hyatt's "unbridled zeal to promote themselves and their 'Extreme Christmas' holiday display in their single family residential neighborhood and without any regard for public safety or the complaints of their neighbors, the Hyatts are acting irresponsibly, and are causing the City to take necessary and well considered steps."

The Hyatt's have yet to respond.