Outside holiday decorations, including large, lighted Valentine’s Day hearts, that are displayed on days other than during the City Hall-designated time frame of Nov. 15 to Jan. 15 may be allowed without penalty under city code.
The city is considering revamping its residential outdoor display codes after Lyn Steg of Oro Street pointed out to the council that most members of her Arch Beach Heights neighborhood enjoyed the large lighted Valentine’s heart on the corner of Oro and Del Mar streets. The homeowners, Laytham Jacoby and Adrian Vaudeudekom, who have displayed various holiday decorations for 14 years, received a letter from the city’s code enforcement office two weeks ago ordering the removal of the display. The letter was precipitated by a complaint.
“Everyone on Del Mar, everyone on Del Mar, looking out at that Valentine’s heart displayed on the corner with, of course, the exception of one, expressed their delight at the decoration. Everyone on Oro Street loved it,” espoused Steg. “I’d just like to know if we can we continue to put up our decorations without being fined?”
Councilman Kelly Boyd, saying he was irritated by the city’s threat to cite the homeowners, brought the item up for council action.
“Laguna is a place where we’re supposed to be able to express ourselves,” commented Boyd. “We are finding more and more rules to stop people from expressing themselves. If we need to make the change so these people can do this, then let’s make the change.”
City Manager John Pietig said he’d prefer to establish dates around specific holidays than issue special permits for decorative outdoor displays in residential areas. He told the council he will research other cities’ decisions on lawn decorations and lights for other than the Christmas holiday season and present his findings on possible new allowances at upcoming city council agenda.