Countryside business ticketed for holiday display

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - A Christmas controversy is occurring in the southwest suburbs, where a business has been ticketed for its holiday display.

FOX 32's Dane Placko reports the business owners say the Grinch is alive in Countryside.

FOX 32: Has anybody ever complained to you about this?"

"No, they all like it,” said Candace Sanders.

Candace and her sister, Kim, own a store that you can't ignore this time of year.

Out in front of Rosebud Antiques every morning, hundreds of holiday-themed plastic blow molds can be seen, including Santa’s, toy soldiers, elves, singing children, north pole signs and some sort of bizarre clown dog. All of them are vintage lawn decorations from the 70's, 80's and 90's that the sisters bought at garage sales, estate sales and flea markets throughout the Chicago area.

"We put them outside every day. It takes us about two hours to put them outside,” Candace said. "They all point. Some people do complete U-ies in the middle of Lagrange Road just to stop at our store to look at them."

But not everyone is a fan.

Last week, the sisters received an ordinance violation from the city of countryside for "failure to remove merchandise from store front after and before business hours."

The sisters say the code enforcement officer told them that the display is excessive.

"I said how do you explain excessive, you know? When you have big box stores putting out a lot of evergreens and trees and lawn mowers and pumpkins,” Kim said. "Sometimes it's just not fair for the little store."

But the city says it has no choice.

In a statement, a spokesperson says the antique store was granted a special use permit to display merchandise outdoors during business hours, but:

"Over the past two years the City has notified the owners of violations and citizen complaints including merchandise in the handicapped parking space, merchandise in the right-of-way and displays continually left out during non-business hours."

The controversy hasn't hurt sales, with nearly 280 blow molds snapped up so far this year.

Customers were stunned when they learned about the trouble.

"I can't believe she got ticketed for that. That is low,” said Alan Retzke.

"Bah humbug! It's terrible, that's terrible,” said Larry Chyba.

The sisters say they'll try to do a better job of bringing the holiday cheer inside at night, but still can't understand why it's a problem.

"People like it. If they didn't like it they wouldn't still be coming in here and I wouldn't have lasted 16 years,” Kim said.

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