SARATOGA SPRINGS — It’s four months past Christmas, but one Saratoga Springs neighborhood has been fighting over Christmas lights that a homeowner said he put up to to honor medical workers.
Jeff Noorda is a homeowner in the Legacy Farms neighborhood.
He still has Christmas lights strung up around his house, even though it’s almost May. But the lights are not red and green, they’re blue.
Noorda said it’s in honor of all the medical professionals fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ve got hundreds of thousands of people across the country and the world that are going to work, regardless of their safety,” said Noorda.
The problem is Noorda’s community HOA said he has to take the lights down, or face a $50 fine.
“Here we are in these unrealistic times, and to get a letter for having lights on my house to say, ‘thank you,’ I was actually very shocked,” said Noorda.
But there’s two sides to every story.
Joey Duckworth is president of the Legacy Farms HOA.
“As a community, we’re very sympathetic as to what’s going on with the pandemic. We all have family and friends that are on the frontline,” said Duckworth.
Duckworth said all Christmas lights in the community were supposed to be taken down by March 1. He said Noorda never asked for permission to keep the lights up, and sent a very angry email after he was asked to take the lights down.
“The tone of the email that we received was so aggressive in nature and so combative that we didn’t feel sincerity in what he was actually indicating,” said Duckworth.
Noorda acknowledged that he may have broken the rules of the neighborhood.
“Sure there’s rules that we all have to abide by, but these are times that nobody has gone through before,” said Noorda.
But now, he may not just face the consequences of his actions, but of his words.
“Rather than work with us and try to come together, he wanted a fight,” said Duckworth. “You want a fight, well that’s when rules are rules.”
Duckworth said what the HOA sent Noorda was just a warning, but he could be fined if he doesn’t take the lights down in the next few days.
He said if Noorda hadn’t sent such a negative email, they may have been willing to waive the fine, but now they’re not planning to.