Orange County community residents stand up for “lights” and win

December 24, 2013 by  

One of the favorite seasonal pastimes for many Santa Ana families, particularly those with small children, is to drive around looking at Christmas light displays. For many homeowners the annual putting up of lights is a much anticipated part of the holidays. However for one Orange County community, the annual light display almost went dark.

On the last Friday in November, the residents of Abilene Drive and Drove Court, two Trabuco Canyon neighborhoods received letters from OC Public Works stating they were in violation of county and state codes. According to the code, a permit is required to ensure the safety of any lights that may obstruct or encroach on public roadways. The lights in question were strung over county-controlled streets as they crossed between houses.

The letter further stated fines may follow unless the lights were removed by December 5. Residents took their case to the media and before the time limit was up the county responded that arrangements would be made to allow the lights to remain.

According to county Supervisor Pat Bates, residents would be allowed to keep their light displays if they submitted permit applications and their lights passed inspection. Moreover, the county offered to waive the per house fee of $65 and expedite the process.

The community holiday light display began about 5 years ago and has grown each year. Many communities seek out a printer for banner printing; a holiday banner can be used to announce a parade or other festive activity.