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      Christmas light controversy resolved

      A Marquette family will get to keep their outdoor Christmas decorations up after all. The recent controversy over a temporary fence used as Christmas decoration has been resolved.

      At Monday's City Commission meeting, Mayor John Kivela said the deadline to take down the fence has been extended until the first week of January.

      Homeowner Tom Beard put up the fence as part of a Christmas light display, but last week city officials said the fence is in violation because it sits on the city right-of-way. Zoning codes require a five-foot distance between the street and property fences to allow for utility work, maintenance, plowing and other roadwork.

      "It did come across Scrooge-like," said Mayor Kivela. "But when zoning gets a complaint or gets notified of a potential violation, they're obligated under state law to follow up on it, and that's exactly what they did."

      The owners did not attend the meeting, but Mayor Kivela said they were happy with the decision.

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