Buffalo Grove holiday display drawing big crowds, and some neighbors' ire
A home on a small street in Buffalo Grove has become a magnet this holiday season for visitors in cars and on foot.
It isn't hard to see why. Misha Storozhuk decked out his house on Woodhollow Lane with a resplendent display, replete with colorful, pulsating lights and a lawn filled with glowing candy canes and Christmas trees.
If that isn't enough, the 20,000-light display resounds with festive music that also is beamed out so that passing cars can play it over their radios.
As late as 9 p.m. Sunday night, onlookers were lined up in cars along one side of the street -- they're prohibited from the other -- to watch the spectacle.
"It's something for the kids, especially right now in these times," said Wheeling resident Isidro Delgado, who sat in his car and watched with his family, including daughters Ruby, 5, and Eva, 1. "(And) it's interactive."
Dozens more watched from the sidewalk as the strains of "Let It Snow" streamed from the display. Among them were area resident Mary Contarsy.
"We love it," she said.
But while the display is a crowd pleaser, not everyone in the surrounding neighborhood loves the crowds its drawing to their streets and sidewalks.
Deputy Buffalo Grove Village Manager Jennifer Maltas said the village has received complaints in emails and police reports about traffic, noise, bright lights and blocked driveways.
One complaint received over the weekend came from residents who said the noise made it difficult for their infant to sleep, Maltas said.
As a result of the crowds, the village required Storozhuk to obtain a $50 special events permit. And until he received the permit last Thursday, he was not allowed to run the display.
"I mean, for what?" Storozhuk said of the permit requirement. "(For a) Christmas show decoration on my private property?
"I'm not doing food service. I don't have any evacuation plans. I don't have artists," he said.
The permit, good from Dec. 4 through Dec. 31, states Storozhuk is liable for expenses the village may incur, including signage, police presence for traffic control or damage to the right of way. The permit could be suspended if the display interferes with snowplow operations.
Maltas said the village is not opposed to the display.
"The primary concern of the village is the ability to get emergency vehicles to homes," she said.
Storozhuk has put up displays throughout the year to mark Independence Day and Halloween. It was his Halloween display that first put him on the village's radar, because there were times the street was blocked due to the number of people driving to see his home.
"I was surprised why (the village) even asked for (the) permit," he said. "It's free speech."