Area HOAs prevent residents from putting up Christmas lights early

Published: Nov. 29, 2013 at 1:09 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 29, 2013 at 1:10 PM EST
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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - HOA boards across the Grand Strand are regulating when residents can set up their outdoor holiday decorations. Reporter Monique Blair dug into why communities set these rules, and why some say this is a Grinch move.

A viewer contacted us and showed us a picture a woman who received a letter from her HOA stating she had to take her outdoor decorations down, because she put them up too early. We found out it's actually a rather common rule to have set dates when holiday decorations are allowed, even though not everyone thinks these rules are fair.

In Emmens Preserve, "the HOA rule, as I understand it, is we are not allowed to put up lights before November 30th," said Joe Hope. At the Bay Pointe Apartment Complex, "we can't really put our lights up until December 1," said Daymuion Wilson.

In North Myrtle Beach, the Tidewater Plantation says no decorations, unless it's within 30 days of the holiday. However, Seagate Village is a little more lenient: on November 1 you can start decorating, but the reaction to these rules is mixed.

"I don't think there should be repercussions," said Hope. "Some people decide to celebrate early. That's their prerogative."

"I think that's not too bad, I mean HOA rules are there for a reason," said Len Chabot, who lives in Emmens Preserve. He says these rules allow the communities to have order, and to prevent people from getting out of hand with their decorating.

"I think that's plenty of time to have your lights up," Chabot said. "It's a good idea, that way it keeps people from having their lights up until May."

Wilson says decorating shouldn't be so regulated.

"I feel like we should be able to put our lights up any time we feel like it," Wilson said. "We pay rent there."

The rules at Emmens Preserve say the committee reserves the right to limit the amount of decorations per home.

Meanwhile, Tidewater Plantation's rules go on to say plastic ornaments and blinking lights are not acceptable. When it boils down to it, some homeowners say these rules don't match the holiday spirit.

"I'd just say humbug then at that point," Hope said.

Seagate Village and Emmens Preserve both say all signs of winter holiday decorations must be gone by January 15th. Tidewater Plantation is a little more strict. They have to be taken down within ten days after the holiday.

These are just a sample of the HOAs in our area that have these specific rules. We reached out to several HOA boards, but were unable to get a comment.

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