Light dispute: Woman living by church claims parking lot lights are too bright

Light dispute: Woman living by church claims parking lot lights are too bright

A dispute between a church and a property owner has turned into a controversy in Destin.

Bonny Todd has lived in the same home in Destin for a quarter-century. During the summer days and nights, she leaves the windows open to let the cool breeze come in.

“My plan is to grow old here, but I think that is changing,” Todd told Channel 3 News.

Recently, Todd has been at odds with the Destin United Methodist Church over lighting placed in their parking lot.

She claims the lights are so bright it lights up an entire room in her home. She said she can’t sleep at night.

She took her issues to Destin’s city leaders and the church. According to her, she is not getting the answer she wants, which is for the church to remove the lighting.

Channel 3 called Destin United Methodist Church to ask them for a comment.

The administrator, Bud Weaver, told Channel 3 News they have reached out to Bonny offering to plant trees, install awnings, as well as install mechanical blinds and drapes. Weaver tells us she declined all offers

We also spoke to Destin Mayor Scott Fischer.

Fischer said the church is not violating any city law or ordinance, but the mayor added he will spearhead an effort for the two to reach a compromise.

"What we're going to try and do is get both parties to sit down and see if we can come up with any form of amicable results that will satisfy both parties," he said.

Bonny doesn’t think a compromise is possible.

"I only made $24,000 last year, I can’t afford to hire a lawyer," she said.

The mayor told Channel 3 News the church has a lawyer.

For now, Bonny tearfully said she may lose her dream home.

"I will be meeting with a real estate agent soon and planning to leave Destin, which is breaking my heart because I picked my spot to grow old and the church is not being a church," Bonny said.

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