(WSVN) - Some people love the spotlight, but how about two spotlights shining into your house every single night? It’s happening to one South Florida homeowner. When she couldn’t get the lights turned off, she turned to Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
Kathy Russell is a flight attendant who has spent her life traveling the world… and she loves it.
Kathy Russell: “My favorite places are Quito, Ecuador. It’s in the mountains, the weather is cool and the people are super nice.”
Traveling is great, but when it’s your job, you still want to come home and rest.
Kathy Russell: “Sit outside, listen to the birds and at night, just sit there and relax.”
Kathy has a beautiful, relaxing view of the lake from her backyard… OK, I guess I should say had a relaxing view.
Kathy Russell: “I have obnoxious spotlights across the lake from me, shining right in my house … They’re like lights on a police squad car.”
It’s like looking at a car’s bright lights, targeted straight at Kathy’s house from the property across the lake.
Now take a look from the inside. Everyone likes a little light, but how about a spotlight shining through your window?
Kathy Russell: “I can’t watch TV. I feel like somebody is looking right into my family room, bedroom, living room, pool area.”
The spotlights are on timers, coming on at 4 p.m. every afternoon, then targeting every room facing the pool and backyard.
This forces Kathy to keep all her curtains and shades drawn.
Kathy Russell: “I’m tired. I can’t open the curtains or the shutters in that room either because the lights shine directly into the bedroom, right on the bed actually.”
The lights shine into the homes of the neighbors on either side of Kathy also. She said they gave up.
Kathy Russell: “One put up a wood fence, the other one put up a hurricane shutter on his family room window.”
Kathy doesn’t want to live with her curtains closed and has called Coral Springs Police three times.
Kathy Russell: “All three times that I’ve called, all three different officers have said, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s so obnoxious. I can’t believe this person won’t just turn them off.'”
One officer told the homeowner to turn off the spotlights, they did and Kathy said they turned them back on the next night.
Kathy Russell: “I really don’t know why anybody would put those in their backyard, especially shining in other people’s homes.”
But this neighbor is doing it, blocking Kathy from enjoying the view of her pool, the lake, the backyard…
Kathy Russell: “You can’t just shine any light you want into anybody’s home. I mean, I would never do something like that.”
Kathy wouldn’t, but her neighbors do. So is it legal, Howard?
Howard Finkelstein, 7News legal expert: “Absolutely not. Coral Springs even has a law which prohibits a homeowner from having anything on their property which is offensive or obnoxious to a neighbor due to light or glare, so spotlights cannot be pointed at a house and they have to be turned off immediately.”
I contacted Coral Springs Police and Code Enforcement and they hit the homeowner with three violation notices for the bright lights, and while they were investigating, they discovered the homeowner had done electrical work without a permit and was running a business out of the house without a city license.
The homeowner told me he considered himself a good neighbor and had no idea the lights were shining into his neighbors’ homes saying they were landscape lights and supposed to shine up at the palm trees.
He then followed the city’s orders and said he disconnected the lights and removed them so they would not bother anyone anymore.
Kathy Russell: “They were off last night and they were off today.”
The lights are finally off after Kathy called Help Me Howard.
Kathy Russell: “I can walk in the house and sit on that couch and relax and watch TV and not look at blinding lights.”
Glad Kathy is happy.
One thing to take from this case, when code enforcement investigated the lights, they spotted two more violations, so be careful if you are irritating your neighbors because any work you have done without a permit might come to light.
Left in the dark trying to find a solve a problem? Ready to flip the switch to brighten your life? We may not be the shiniest bulbs in the batch, but hopefully, we will leave you glowing.
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