A bitter feud between neighbours over an elaborate Christmas lights display has come to an end after the local council decided the show must go on.
Jamie Lehmann’s Christmas lights are famous in Brisbane with residents from across the city trekking to Coopers Plains, 14km south of the CBD, to see his annual display.
However, the impressive light show came under threat last week when a neighbour reported Mr Lehmann for obstructing the council-owned footpath outside his home.
But in a follow-up video on Tuesday, Mr Lehmann revealed he worked with Brisbane City Council to find a solution and would go ahead with this year’s display.
He said he’d decorated the walkway as part of the council’s Festive Footpaths program, which encourages Halloween and Christmas decorations.
However, the walkway he had created through his light display did not meet council guidelines, which the problem arising because he misunderstood the meaning of the word ‘alight’.
Jamie Lehmann’s Christmas lights (above) have been cleared by Brisbane City Council after a neighbourhood dispute last week
‘We aren’t closing for Christmas anymore,’ he said.
‘Council have agreed to let me keep the display on the footpath as per their Festive Footpaths program as long as we made an alternate arrangement in relation to the front of the display.
Mr Lehmann (above) will go ahead with this year’s Christmas lights in Coopers Plains
‘They said to come two metres back from the gutter.
‘The walkway we made through the display is now closed… allowing access to us only via the front.’
Mr Lehmann said he didn’t initially realise that the curb needed to be clear for people to get out of their vehicles.
‘I misread the criteria for the Festive Footpaths in the beginning,’ he said.
‘I didn’t understand the meaning of alight – I thought it was just people looking at the lights from their cars so that’s my bad. It actually means getting out of the vehicle.’
Hundreds of Aussies were happy to hear the display is going ahead.
Mr Lehmann had decorated the council-owned footpath (above) outside his home but it did not meet council guidelines
The council’s Festive Footpaths program required two metres of grass from the curb to be cleared, which Mr Lehmann has since done (above)
‘I m so glad it’s resolved. Keep up the Christmas spirit, it’s so wonderful to see,’ one wrote.
‘I bet the all the whingers now bring all their kids, nephews, and nieces to gaze in wonder at your fantastic display,’ another said.
Mr Lehmann added he and his wife have a theory on which ‘Grinch’ neighbour reported them to council but don’t want to stir the pot any further.
‘We have no issues with any of our direct neighbours, so it’s not somebody that’s near us that has put in the complaint,’ he said.
‘We do have a feeling we know who it is but without knowing for sure I’m not going to make that public.’
Last week, Mr Lehmann received two council complaint cards regarding his lights and announced his 2023 display was cancelled.
The council threatened to issue an $800 fine for every day the decorations remained on the footpath.
‘One person ruined it for thousands of people. That’s it, I’m done. I’m sick and tired of this bulls**t,’ he said of the ‘Grinch’ neighbour who reported him.
Mr Lehmann offered to relocate his display further away from the curb, ensuring the mandated 1.2meters as per the council’s local law, but council insisted the display be pushed back to his mailbox.
Mr Lehmann announced on Tuesday his Christmas lights (above) will remain up this year after cancelling the show last week
Furious, Mr Lehmann slammed the council online, saying he had a right to decorate the path under the Festive Footpaths program.
In a statement to Daily Mail Australia, Chair for City Standards Councillor Kim Marx said Brisbane City Council ‘did not advise this resident to completely remove their display but did require a minor adjustment so other residents could safely park and exit their cars’.
Fortunately, Mr Lehmann was able to reach an agreement with council this week and will continue with this year’s display.