December 22, 2008

16-foot snowman declared safety hazard

City officials in Anchorage, Alaska, have deemed a family's annual tradition of building a 16-foot-tall snowman a safety hazard.

The Powers family, who have been building the snowman -- known as Snowzilla -- in their Airport Heights neighborhood yard since 2005, said city code enforcers left cease-and-desist signs at the giant snowball that was to have formed the sculpture's base, the Anchorage Daily News reported Monday.

The family's patriarch, Billy Powers, said only the base of the snowman had been built before the signs were posted, but he said his children and some neighbors had already spent hours and hours of work on it.

The declaration of Snowzilla as a public nuisance and safety hazard comes after neighbors complained about the attention it brought to the neighborhood from sight-seers and camera crews from as far away as Russia and Japan.

City officials told the Airport Heights community council Dec. 11 that the structure of the massive snowman was unsafe and the spectacle increased local traffic to the point of endangerment.