The good news is that artist Rick Worth's "black hole" decoration for Mo's Restaurant was one of the top Fantasy Facade winners during Fantasy Fest. The bad news is that the restaurant has been cited by Code Enforcement for building a "significant structure" without a building permit.
"The real problem here is that the structure is so close to the power lines," said Acting Building Dept. Director Catherine Harding.
"A good strong gust of wind could fly that structure right in to those power lines and then we would have a really dangerous situation."
But Rena McDonald, one of the owners of Mo"s, is fuming. "We participated in the contest and won an award," she said. "Now they say we broke the law.
"Are we going to need a permit for our Christmas decorations?" she asked.
Probably not, according to Harding.
"Most decorations are not elaborate enough to require a permit," she said. "But the facade at Moe's is a substantial structure that would normally require a building permit although it is unlikely that a permit would have been approved because of the proximity to the power lines."
She advises anyone who is considering building a "substantial structure" even if it's only a temporary decoration for a special event to consult with the Building Dept. (292-8151) to see if a building permit might be required.
"The situation at Mo's is unusual," she said. "But checking with us first will help avoid these kinds of problems."
As KWTN went to press Thursday afternoon, the Fantasy Facade was already down at Mo's.