From the official minutes of the Ankeny City Council meeting of February 19, 2007


Citizen Open Forum: Dave Sanderson, 222 NE 16th Street, addressed the council as an Ankeny resident and requested the council’s help as it relates to his computer synchronized Christmas light display at his residence this past holiday season. He stated his light display was created for enjoyment and having a marketing background he understands these types of activities can actually be very good for a community. He stated since Ankeny was already a destination for people coming to view Christmas lights and with the help of the media identifying the best locations for their patrons to view Christmas lights, he would like to see Ankeny become the "City of Lights". Mr. Sanderson made available a handout outlining items he believed would need to be addressed and requested council’s help regarding his request.


Here are the action points (my request of the Council) noted in the
last sentence of the minutes above that are also public record.

Repeal or Revise to Exclude Holiday Displays.

8.08.190 Traffic--Obstruction of streets or sidewalks.
Any use of property abutting on a public street or sidewalk, or any use of a public street or sidewalk which causes large crowds of people to gather, which obstructs traffic and free use of the streets or sidewalks is a nuisance. (Prior code § 25.34)

Temporary Parking Ordinance.

No unattended vehicle parking during December between 5 to 10 p.m. on N.E. 16th from 222 west to N.E. Grant and on N.E. Grant from 18th Street to 14th Street. Also clarifying that it is legal for attended vehicles waiting in a single-file line along the curb to park both east- and westbound from 222 on N.E. 16th during those hours, but double-file lines and blocking driveways is prohibited.

(If the lines get long enough that visitors become surly, you can eliminate one final problem area by eliminating left turns onto 16th while southbound on Grant, forcing one single-file line to the south. I would make that “at the discretion of the Police Chief,” allowing officers to use their best judgment at the time. The only reason not to just go ahead and do it is that it would create a minor disruption/inconvenience to normal driving habits for homeowners.)


The Council needs to make it clear that those involved in the “City of Lights” effort are not criminals. Other cities pay tens of thousands of dollars for what we’re getting for free. So those supporting the effort are to be applauded, not criminalized. Further, those families waiting patiently in line are also not lawbreakers but good citizens or welcomed guests of our City. These are welcomed activities so should be facilitated as a positive thing for our City and an excellent opportunity for positive public relations for the police and our City.

Feel free to contact me at any time with questions or for further discussion (in order of best contact methods): E-mail,, (w) 224-XXXX; (h) 964-XXXX; (cell) XXX-XXXX. Dave Sanderson. 222 N.E. 16th Street.