Snowzilla will rise again, likely without city interference

James Halpin

Christmas is nearly here, and something's missing from the front yard of a home on Columbine Street.

Snowzilla, that frosty behemoth of an ornament, has yet to be raised. But Billy Ray Powers, father to the internationally known sculpture, says not to worry. It's coming.

"We didn't get snow until way late, man," Powers said Saturday evening. "So here again, we're right at the 11th hour."

Powers, who has thus far accumulated a pile of snow about 15 feet tall in his yard, said he's hoping to get the creation up by Christmas, but things aren't looking good.

The snow Powers was clearing from in front of his home Saturday evening was light and powdery, hardly ideal for creating a 25-foot tall snowman. But this year it's going to be more about style than size, he said.

"Grand is what I'm talking," Powers said. "Big is not really what I'm striving for. What I'm striving for is I want this snowman to be so world-class friendly, I want you to feel like he wants to give you a hug. ... Now, of course, you've got to have a certain amount of size because his hat's a certain size, you know, his mittens are a certain size.

"He's going to be pretty stately."

Though Powers has built a snowman in the same spot for years, it wasn't until 2005 that Snowzilla began drawing intense media attention. Back then, Snowzilla was a mere 16 feet tall.

But as Snowzilla's fame spread so too did his notoriety. Neighbors began complaining about traffic and noise that the creation drew to the normally quiet street, according to city officials, who have a long-running dispute with Powers over junk on his property and unpaid fines for it.

Last December, the city issued a cease-and-desist order on Snowzilla, calling it a public nuisance and a safety hazard. A few weeks later, just days before Christmas, the snowman resurrected itself overnight, bigger than ever.

This year, city officials say they aren't inclined to butt heads over Snowzilla. Richard Fern, a city code enforcement officer, said officials will see if there are any complaints, but as yet have no plans to order construction to a halt.

"I don't foresee us really doing anything about Snowzilla this year," Fern said. "We've got other things that are more pressing to pursue than the snowman."