Gettysburg homeowners told to remove Jesus display

Written by Lillian Reed/The Hanover Evening Sun | Dec 24, 2017 6:53 AM

A Christmas display is at the center of a dispute between a homeowner association and two residents. (Photo: Lillian Reed - The Evening Sun.)

(Undated) -- While the homeowner association was not concerned with the content of the sign, officials felt it was not in accordance with normal Christmas decorations and asked it be taken down, the email states.

The Wivells' dispute with the association ultimately boils down to whether the display is considered a sign or a decoration.

Wivell says it is a decoration. The homemade display consists of a piece of plywood painted white and inscribed with the name "Jesus" in red, tinsel garland. He put it in his front yard at the same time as his Mickey and Minnie Mouse Christmas decorations and even draped a strand of lights over top of the wood. A small nativity scene sits beneath it. 

However, the homeowner's association says the display is considered a sign. While the content of the sign relates to the holiday season, the "size, structure, and illumination of the physical sign are the accentuating factors generating the complaint," according to a second email the association sent the Wivells Dec. 18.

A message sent to the association requesting comment was not immediately returned Friday.

So far, the Wivells have not been formally cited for the display, which they plan to keep up until Jan. 15 -- a date set by the homeowner association for removal of holiday decorations.

"I'm looking at this as a forum to promote what Christmas is all about," Wivell said. "We wanted our neighbors to know how we feel. I don't want this to be about me though. I want it to be about the birth of Jesus."

The Links at Gettysburg golf course posted a statement on social media Friday distancing the business from The Courtyards homeowner association.

"The Links at Gettysburg Golf Course, LLC, is a completely separate, private entity from the surrounding communities and their HOA's," the post states. "The regrettable incident involving a homeowner and their respective HOA has no reflection on our business, staff or our guests."

This story comes to us through a partnership between WITF and The Hanover Evening Sun

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