Brisbane resident Jamie Lehmann devotes countless hours and invests thousands of dollars annually to decorate his home in Coopers Plains, located 14km south of the city’s CBD.
However, his festive tradition hit a snag last Thursday when the council issued an order instructing him to remove the lights and decorations placed along the walkway in front of his home following a complaint from a neighbour.
Brisbane man Jamie Lehmann has threatened to cancel his annual Christmas lights display after he received two council complaints (pictured, Mr Lehmann’s lights in 2022)
Mr Lehmann’s decorations blocked the official footpath but he claims it’s a non-issue, as he has redirected it (above), with the path passing through his impressive Christmas lights display
‘It’s started, another complaint,’ he said. ‘I understand I’ve blocked off the walkway at the moment. It’s not a footpath anyway. It’s grass.
‘But you just want to whinge because I do something for the community.
‘One person ruined it for thousands of people. That’s it, I’m done. I’m sick and tired of this bulls**t.’
Mr Lehmann (above) slammed council, saying he was allowed to decorate the walkway as part of its Festive Footpaths program
Mr Lehmann said he had the right to decorate the walkway under Brisbane Council’s Festive Footpaths program, which permits decorating council-owned walkways and trees for Halloween and Christmas from October 15 to January 14.
However, his decorations blocked off the grass footpath, not meeting the council’s guidelines. even though he redirected the council footpath through his yard, which passes through his impressive Christmas lights display.
Mr Lehmann suggested to the council that he could relocate the display further away from the curb, ensuring the mandated 1.2 meters as per the council’s local law. However, the council insisted that the display must be positioned specifically at the letterbox.
The council threatened to issue a $800 fine a day until the decorations were removed from the footpath.
Now Mr Lehmann’s threatening to cancel the entire light show if the ‘Grinch’ continued to hassle him.
Mr Lehmann received two complaints (one above) for putting lights and decorations in the council-owned walkway outside his home
Mr Lehmann puts on a large Christmas lights display every year, which takes countless hours to create (pictured, the 2022 display)
He said he was ‘sick and tired’ of the council’s complaints and threatened to call this year’s display off (pictured, 2022)
‘If the council is going to state it’s the same person that complained last year, I’m done,’ he said.
‘All the lights will be removed, and we will not be proceeding with anything this year, and signs will be plastered in our yard stating that the complainer and the council shut us down!’
‘All this is going, the whole lot. No Christmas this year because one lousy c**t can’t keep their mouth to themselves.’
Thousands of upset fans protested the council’s order, but also asked Mr Lehmann to consider going ahead with the light show without the footpath decorations.
‘From one decorator nut to another, this makes me angry. Sad to see all that hard work ruined by one complaint and council not applying common sense to the risk assessment,’ one said.
‘Looks so good, and you’ve kept a walkway. So not sure why there would be an issue,’ another wrote.
‘My children absolutely delight in your wonderful display! My six-year-old was looking forward to it. I will happily sign anything or write a support letter if you need,’ another person said.
‘So disappointing for you, thank you for all your hard work to bring Christmas to thousands of people,’ a fourth wrote.
Mr Lehmann was furious with council and pointed to its Festive Footpaths program, which allows residents to decorate the walkway (pictured, Mr Lehmann preparing the lights)
Thousands of Mr Lehmann’s fans slammed council’s complaints and pointed out there is still a functional footpath (pictured, 2022)
After receiving a second complaint from council, triggered by reports from a neighbour, Mr Lehmann said: ‘All the lights will be removed, and we will not be proceeding with anything this year’ (pictured, 2022)
Thousands of Brisbane locals pleaded with Mr Lehmann to continue with the display (last year’s above) and slammed council’s complaints
‘This is so sad! What’s happened to the world when we can’t even enjoy some beautiful Christmas lights and embrace the Christmas season,’ another said.
‘Why do people complain about the ones trying to bring a bit of happiness to others. It’s not bloody cheap and the time and effort we all put in is massive,’ another wrote.
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’.
‘It was the residents’ decision not to make this adjustment. Council aims to work with the resident to create a safe display before taking any further action.’
The council additionally mentioned that officers noted a segment of the Christmas light structure was fastened to a utility pole, and that Mr Lehmann had trimmed street trees to make room for decorations.
Mr Lehmann still hasn’t followed the council’s orders, and is hoping to buy even more Christmas lights to ensure his display is completed in time for the 2023 KIISmas Lights Competition, organised by KISS FM.