HASLETT, Mich. (WLNS) — A Haslett holiday hallmark is no more, following complaints and a cease and desist letter.
Cheryl Underwood has always enjoyed decorating.
When COVID-19 came around, Underwood wanted to do something to liven up her neighborhood during a dark time.
“We couldn’t do any decorating on the inside and so we decided to take the extravagance on the outside where everyone could enjoy it,” said Underwood. “Everyone was tied up in their houses so it gave everyone an opportunity to come and see excitement.”
For the past few years, Underwood invested time and money into her displays and soon the elaborate decor became quite popular in her neighborhood, attracting hundreds.
“When it got busy we ended up doing a drive-by-only sign so that people would only drive by just because of the congestion,” continued Underwood.
The sign wasn’t enough for one neighbor who made a complaint to Williamstown Township about all the traffic.
“We received a cease and desist order from our local township because it wasn’t in compliance with blight,” said Underwood.
Williamstown Township Supervisor Wanda Bloomquist clarified that the township isn’t asking Underwood not to decorate, but to not have as many decorations.
“When it takes 10 minutes to go down Damon Road to get into your driveway, that’s pretty congested,” said Bloomquist. “The displays are not blight themselves but under our blight ordinance it addresses the traffic issues.”
Underwood’s done decorating because Williamstown Twp. has not been clear on how she should decorate.
“Should I be able to put 2 pumpkins in my yard or 20 lights or 10 lights of 10,000 lights, I don’t know,” said Underwood. “Life is short and life is difficult and it’s one fun-free thing that everybody can partake in and it’s just sad for me.”