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Holiday Light Fight In Bucks County

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By Elizabeth Hur

DOYELSTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — Some in Bucks County are fueling a Christmas light controversy. They are going against the Homeowners Association and ditching white for colored bulbs starting Friday night.

Marie Buonanno explained, “I’d just like the opportunity to please display colored lights.”

Sounds innocent enough but last year, her Home Owners Association fined her $400 for doing just that: $10 a day for the 40 days she displayed colored lights. Undeterred, she’s at it again — this time with the support of some of her neighbors.

Keith Clements said, “We put colored lights up in support of our friends. My wife and I believe that everybody should have the opportunity to celebrate the holiday anyway they can.”

But according to George Edwards, the Doylestown Station Condominium Association president, while he declined to talk on-camera, he told us a letter recently sent out to homeowners speaks for itself.

Bottomline, when you sign on the dotted line to move into the development, you agree to the community’s rules and regulations and that includes displaying only non-blinking, white lights for winter holiday decorations.

Buonanno understands but argues, it’s time for a change.

“You’re allowed to have blue candles or orange candles in your windows for religious holidays. As a Christrian, Christmas is not a winter holiday, as per se, it’s a religious holiday for Christians,” Buonanno said.

In the same letter, the Board explained a survey was conducted to figure out what, if any, changes were necessary. The letter read in part:

“The results of the questionnaire were published in the Fall 2011 Newsletter. Only 38 out of the 211 residents responded: 14 for colored blinking lights, 5 for colored lights, and 19 not in favor of colored or blinking lights.

The Board determined that no change in rules and regulations was warranted based on the following:

*Limited feedback on the subject at the annual meeting.

*Those in favor of color or color blinking lights did not represent the majority of the residents.”

Buonanno responded, “I don’t understand how the displaying of Christmas lights for 30 or 40 days during the Christmas holidays is such a big deal, I just want to have a merry Christmas.”

For now, Buonanno says if she and her supporters get fined, she is willing to pay the fine but plans to continue her fight to have the rule changed.

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