The owner of a New Jersey business is facing thousands of dollars in possible fines after he refused to remove a 40-foot tall inflatable Santa Claus from his rooftop.
Santa us up on the rooftop of Seasonal World, owned by Tony Schiavone in Millstone Township. He told television station WNYW that he’s been hit with at least five tickets from town officials who believe the yuletide decoration violates the law.
“There is no ordinance or development agreement that says I can’t display it,” Schiavone told WNYW. “It’s what I do every year. I’ve been doing it for 12 years and they’ve basically been harassing me for 12 years.”
Mayor Nancy Grbelja said she fears that Santa might become dislodged from the roof and pose a danger to the community.
“It’s big and it’s a hazard,” she said.
But Schiavone said Santa isn’t going anywhere — noting the large decoration is bolted to the building — and weighted down with sandbags.
The mayor told the Asbury Park Press that businesses are expected to follow the rules – and the giant Santa is against the rules.
Residents seem to be siding with Schiavone.
“Oh give me a break,” Catherine Guarrieri told the Asbury Park Press. “For goodness sake. With all the problems facing our state, someone is going to complain about Santa?”