Woman vows to buck Christmas light rules

The new rules ban colored lights at Gables on the Green. (Nov. 25, 2015)

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — One homeowner says she has no intention of abiding by strict new condominium association rules about what kind of outdoor Christmas lights she can display.

Kelly Ballor lives at Gables on the Green in Plainfield Township, northeast of Grand Rapids. She has been decorating the outside of her condo with colorful lights for four years.Gables on the Green christmas lights 112515

But this year, she was told that there were new rules: Residents may only display white lights, and those lights must be professionally installed by a vendor approved by the condo association board.

“One of my neighbors actually said that this is the most idiotic letter he’s seen from any HSA,” Ballor said.

The new rules went into effect Nov. 10, just two weeks after the annual meeting.

Kelly Ballor talks with 24 Hour News 8's Susan Shaw in her home at Gables on the Green. (Nov. 25, 2015)
(Kelly Ballor talks with 24 Hour News 8’s Susan Shaw in her home at Gables on the Green.)

Ballor said she has “no idea” why the condo association board made the changes. But no matter what the reason, she said she’s going to bring in the holiday cheer however she wants. She’ll be decorating with colorful lights, just like always.

“I’m hoping that our condo association will be reasonable and accommodate my request to rescind this letter that exceeds their authority,” Ballor said. “If they do not, however, I do intend to proceed with putting up the traditions that my children and I have followed our entire lives, including the last three or four years here at the Gables.”

That may come with a penalty. The condo association says that if a homeowner breaks the new rules, the lights will be taken down at the owner’s expense.

Ballor said she’s not going to simply sit by and let that happen.

“I will pursue whatever means necessary to make sure that this stops,” Ballor said.

The condo association’s bylaws state the board can make new rules. However, those rules can be overturned by a 60 percent majority vote of condo owners. An attorney told 24 Hour News 8 that this situation will come down to those bylaws, but that changes usually require a two-thirds majority vote by homeowners.

All of the board members declined comment to 24 Hour News 8 on Wednesday.

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