The Electric Commentary

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Sometimes it is difficult being a libertarian.

This is one of those times:

Emmons and his wife, Virginia, rent out the two flats in the duplex. They live in their own Original property on Dale Lane. Emmons, whose company specializes in artwork and repair of Original chimneys, has created chimney ornamentation for 135 of the Greendale Original homes in the village during the last 21 years. Village officials established guidelines last year to maintain the homes' historic and architectural integrity, including direction for chimney ornamentation.

The guidelines suggest ornamentation be no more than 2 1/2 square feet per side and have no more than a 3-inch projection from the surface. Big Bird, who is blue because he is on Bluebird Court, is much larger. Emmons argues that he didn't violate the guidelines because the bird is on top, and not on the side of the chimney.

Village officials said that even if neighbors on Bluebird Court liked the bird, it would have still likely faced the same outcome. It was built without a permit and doesn't adhere to the guidelines regarding decorative ornamentation, argue Village Manager Joe Murray and Village President Scott Leonard.

If you actually like the bird you can sign this petition.

Hat tip to Ahren, who also picked out the best quote in the story:

"It's changed our way of life. It has infringed on our privacy. It has caused a lot of heartache on the street," said Ardith Weitkunat, a Bluebird Court resident. "This is totally inappropriate for the top of a house."


  • Perhaps the Emmons should take a lesson from the railroad unions (see "The Coyote on Railroad Labor") and rig the bird with a very loud screeching mechanism and blinding lights. Then they could claim to have given ground by simply giving up the lights and screeching.
    More importantly, their neighbors might understand what a real disturbance is and what the real focus of ordinances should be.

    By Anonymous Scott H, at 12:45 PM  

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