A last minute agreement between homeowners and county officials means the holidays will be merry and especially bright for residents of a Trabuco Canyon neighborhood who residents were ordered to remove an interlocking display of Christmas lights that have been strung from house to house.
Homeowners in the Wagon Wheel community contacted KTLA after each received a letter from Orange County Public Works stating that the lights, which are anchored on multiple houses and suspended overhead, constituted an obstruction and a violation of the county code.
The intricate display of lights has been a tradition in the neighborhood for at least five years, residents told KTLA.
“When we bought the house, the people that sold it to us told us what a great neighborhood it was, and they actually warned us that this neighborhood goes great at Christmas,” said resident Brian Kopiec.
According to the letter residents were ordered to remove the lights by Dec. 4.
“I think it’s actually horrible, what they’re doing to us,” Kopiec said. “All the poor kids — they love [the lighting display], and it really brings the neighborhood together.”
After KTLA aired the story Public Works officials and Orange County Supervisor Patricia Bares stepped in.
“She called right away and said let’s expedite the process, waive the fees and if need be, extend the deadlines,” Kristen Camuglia, Bates Deputy Chief of Staff said.
After discussions between residents and county officials a decision was reached Tuesday that will allow the tradition to continue.
According to officials only the strings of lights that hang across the public roadways must be removed. Officials had no issue with any of the other decorations.
“The main resident organizer will be submitting the permit application tomorrow morning through the lighting contractor who installed the display (and who will be indemnifying the County as required), according to Nadia Haidar of the O.C. Public Works
Officials have even agreed to waive the permit fee.
“We’re so grateful to the media especially your organization for coming out and starting this for us,” resident Dannielle Jubb said.
John Moreno contributed to this report.