Grinchy County to Neighborhood: Take Down Your Xmas Lights
Strung across the street, they pose fire hazard: officials
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Dec 4, 2013 6:38 AM CST
An Orange County neighborhood has been told to remove its Christmas lights for safety reasons.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A neighborhood in Orange County, Calif., is brightly decorated with Christmas lights strung across the street—and that hasn't exactly put county officials in the holiday spirit. The lights pose a fire hazard and could prevent emergency vehicles from getting through, officials say, calling the decorations an "unpermitted encroachment" that must be taken down. Residents of Wagon Wheel are frustrated, and they've thus far refused. "It's just lights, people," says one. "This is America," grouses another.

Facing local anger, the county says it will help Wagon Wheel get a permit; it's also offering to drop permit fees and push back tonight's deadline for removal. The permit process, however, represents a headache in itself, the LA Times notes. "It would be unrealistic to have 34 different homeowners come and apply for a permit," says a county rep; it would be easier for the homeowners' association to take care of it. But the association isn't due to meet until next year.

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Showing 3 of 46 comments
Dec 5, 2013 9:07 AM CST
Grinchy indeed. Like low hanging Christmas lights are the embodiment of holiday spirit. Hope no one's Christmas tree catches fire....
Dec 4, 2013 4:16 PM CST
"This is America!" In all its glory.
Dec 4, 2013 12:53 PM CST
I hate when Christmas light wires keep fire trucks from getting somewhere. It's time we add some horsepower to those fire trucks, so that they can plow through 22 gauge wires. Then there's the electrocution risk. Once when I was a kid, stringing Christmas lights, I grabbed a bare wire while standing on a metal ladder. I'm telling you, If I had hung on to that wire for another day or two, that shock could have really tightened up my arm muscles.