From the KC Star:
Gawkers come by the busload to see the Prairie Village house that owner Mike Babick has turned into a Christmas spectacle over the past 47 years.
Children gape at the thousands of twinkling lights. Grownups stare with joy and amazement at the hundreds of holiday figures and the robotic elves toiling away.
“Elves with hammers,” Babick said. “Elves with saws. Elves with candy canes. Elves with...”
Elves aplenty. Reindeer out the wazoo.
Yet Babick’s house at 7611 Falmouth St. may no longer be a must-see stop on the unofficial holiday lighting tour of Kansas City.
This week the Prairie Village City Council passed an ordinance that, Babick says, might make it unaffordable for him to carry on the tradition this Christmas. And he’s mighty bitter about it.
“It stinks,” he said Tuesday. “They’ve killed Christmas for me. Just killed it.”
City officials say that was not their intent in passing regulations Monday night that would require permits for any “special event” lasting five days or more that “is likely to or does in fact generate crowds ... sufficient in size to obstruct, delay or interfere with the safe and orderly movement of ... traffic.”
This is a good example of why externalities are a two-way street. Babick's display is a safety hazard and creates annoyances for neighbors, but clamping down on it keeps him from enjoying Christmas as he sees fit.