(Editor’s note: News releases are published unedited, unless they contain factual errors.)
(PHOENIX) —The City of Phoenix has effectively forced one of Phoenix’s most famous Christmas displays to go dark in 2017, and the Goldwater Institute and Rose Law Group, pc are trying to get these legendary lights get turned back on.
Lee Sepanek, the owner of the “Arcadia Christmas House,” has decorated his home with Christmas lights for more than 30 years, handing out hot chocolate to the countless onlookers who come to see his display. But, the City of Phoenix met with Sepanek this fall, threatening to shut down his display and ordering him to stop offering hot chocolate and cookies to visitors if he did not comply with a labyrinth of regulatory requirements. The city’s vague red tape forced Sepanek to make the difficult decision to not set up his famous lights this year. The unreasonable requirements set on Mr. Sepanek and his Christmas display are consistent with a larger problem happening throughout Arizona: Overregulation is making it increasingly difficult to operate any sort of home-based business, which limits people’s property rights and their ability to be entrepreneurs. Although Mr. Sepanek is not operating a business, the City claims he is, even though he offers the hot chocolate for donations..
The Goldwater Institute along with co-counsel from Rose Law Group, pc sent a letter to the City of Phoenix, on Sepanek’s behalf, seeking clarification on what he needs to do to bring back his light display and his hot chocolate and cookies for visitors at future holiday seasons.
“This year, Mr. Sepanek’s Christmas display has fallen victim to vague, convoluted overregulation from the City of Phoenix,” Goldwater Institute Director of National Litigation Jon Riches said. “We are asking the City to say with specificity what Mr. Sepanek must do in order to continue a beloved Valley tradition. We shouldn’t need the government’s permission in order to celebrate Christmas, or any holiday. And we hope that in years to come, this holiday display so many Phoenicians and Arizonans have come to love will return.”
Attorneys will discuss possible litigation at the press conference while surrounding neighbors of Mr. Sepanek will have their lights turned on in protest of the city’s treatment of the owner of the Arcadia Christmas House.
A full copy of the letter that the Goldwater Institute and Rose Law Group sent to the City of Phoenix will be provided at the news conference.
Who: Homeowner Lee Sepanek, Attorneys from the Goldwater Institute and Rose Law Group
When: Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Where: Front Lawn of Arcadia Christmas House – 4415 E. Calle Tuberia, Phoenix, AZ 85018
Visual: Surrounding neighbors will have lights on in support of Lee Sepanek
About the Goldwater Institute
The Goldwater Institute drives results by working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and strengthen the freedom guaranteed to all Americans in the constitutions of the United States and all 50 states. With the blessing of its namesake, the Goldwater Institute opened in 1988. Its early years focused on defending liberty in Barry Goldwater’s home state of Arizona. Today, the Goldwater Institute is a national leader for constitutionally limited government respected by the left and right for its adherence to principle and real world impact. No less a liberal icon than the New York Times calls the Goldwater Institute a “watchdog for conservative ideals” that plays an “outsize role” in American political life.
About Rose Law Group
Rose Law Group pc is a full-service real estate and business law firm practicing in land use, zoning, renewable energy, government relations and lobbying, administrative law, family law, transactional real estate, employment law, water law, Native American relations, ADA compliance, infrastructure finance, special districts taxation, business formation/corporation transactions, business litigation, school law, cyber-defamation, cyber-privacy, drone law, cannabis law, intellectual property, estate planning, asset protection, private litigation, class actions and DUI’s.