Larry and Dennis Field have always loved Christmas, and their holiday light and music displays at Larry's home on Schoellkopf Road in Hamburg are so good they won ABC’s “Great Christmas Light Fight” two years ago.
But going bigger and better each year meant attracting more and more traffic to the Lake View neighborhood. December's display, featuring minions from the "Despicable Me" movies, was toned down and was not set to music.
Winning the contest has attracted a lot of people, and there is no place to park on Schoellkopf.
That means motorists – five at a time – have to pull over to watch the show, which has lasted as long as 15 minutes, unless traffic was really backed up and they shortened the display to three minutes, Larry Field said.
"Our neighbors have been good sports," he said, and added, "We finally grew out of our yard."
The brothers and their families want to move the display to a different location: the former Willow Bend Swim, Tennis and Social Club on Taylor Road in Hamburg. They want to expand parking at the club to about 75 spaces.
"We want people to be able to get out, walk around and enjoy the display," Field said.
They would like to sell light refreshments, like hot cocoa and cookies, he said. They are thinking of online scheduling and registration, so they could better dictate when cars would come and go to eliminate traffic problems.
They also want to design a Halloween display.
The family has been designing and putting up the display on Schoellkopf Road for seven years. Each year the display is different, and it takes months to plan and design.
"We start planning right after Christmas," Field said.
He has pictures of himself on their Facebook page, Lake View Singing Twinsmas House, buying a lot of lights on sale Dec. 26, something they do every year.
"We bought a lot this year with the hope we’ll get approval," he said.
They have an offer in to buy the 17-acre property, contingent on getting town approval.
The brothers are seeking a special use permit from the Planning Board, which had a lot of questions for the pair last Wednesday.
"For us, we thought it was pretty simple, we’re just putting our lights up," he said, acknowledging that traffic is an issue.
Another issue for Taylor Road residents is a problem with a sewer line from the club to the road, which has backed up, overflowing a manhole in rainy weather.
Wendy Evenden, who lives next door to the club, said neighbors want to know what is going on with the sewer. A meeting is planned later this month between town officials and Field to look into the problem.
Traffic also is a concern for neighbors, she said.
"We just want to have more information," she said.
The Fields are scheduled to return to the Planning Board on Jan. 16.
"It’s a hobby, really," Field said. "We enjoy putting together our lights. Some people fish. We work our Christmas lights."