Assistant City Administrator Dennis Ensligner on Monday told the Prairie Village City Council that the city had received word from Falmouth Street resident Mike Babick’s attorney that Babick would be contesting the citation he the city issued in January over code violations related to his annual Christmas display.
Enslinger said the attorney, Frank Gilman, had suggested that Babick would fight the ordinance infraction on the grounds that the city was infringing on his First Amendment rights. Gilman has not returned several calls seeking comment on the matter.
The city issued the ticket based on a structure Babick added to the display in 2011, which violated an ordinance prohibiting construction of a structure within the minimum 30 foot front yard setback. The city noted that the structure obstructed visibility for adjacent property owners entering and exiting their driveways.
Enslinger told the council that the city anticipated the municipal case would be decided by May, and that Babick was likely to appeal a decision that sided with the city. The issue would then go before district court.
“District court can take a long time,” Enslinger said, “so there’s a good chance this could come up around the holiday season.”