Is It Illegal to Keep Your Xmas Lights Up in San Angelo?
Christmas lights are beautiful. Some people even suffer from post-holiday stress, when the holidays are over. It is actually a recognized condition. For people suffering from this malady, the very thought of taking down the decorations can cause anxiety.
When is the right time to take down the Christmas lights? Is keeping them up past a certain date in San Angelo illegal?
An exhaustive search of San Angelo's city code could find no ordinance requiring Christmas light displays in San Angelo to be taken down by a certain date. In neighborhoods with a Home Owner's Association, it might be a good idea to check before you decide to say "to heck with it" and leave your lights up all year.
There are traditions, however.
According to long-held traditions, if your Christmas lights remain up after "Twelfth Night" you risk a curse for the upcoming year. The twelfth night from Christmas day is Thursday, January 5th. Some, however, argue that the following day, January 6th, known as The Feast of the Epiphany" is the right date to remove decorations.
While there is no ordinance in San Angelo about WHEN Christmas lights displays must come down, there is an ordinance that can affect Christmas lights displays.
San Angelo's Light Intrusion Ordinance is not specifically designed to regulate Christmas light displays, but it could pertain to them under certain conditions.
AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF SAN ANGELO, TEXAS, AMENDING CHAPTER 8, OFFENSES & NUISANCES, OF THE SAN ANGELO CODE OF ORDINANCES, TO ADD A NEW ARTICLE 8.1200, ENTITLED “OUTDOOR LIGHTING” IN ORDER TO CREATE STANDARDS FOR OUTDOOR LIGHTING TO MINIMIZE LIGHT POLLUTION, GLARE AND LIGHT TRESPASS CAUSED BY INAPPROPRIATE OR MISALIGNED LIGHT FIXTURES, WHILE IMPROVING NIGHTTIME PUBLIC SAFETY, UTILITY AND SECURITY; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS ORDINANCE.
This ordinance regulates, among other things, the intrusion of light onto another property or public right of way, from the parcel of origin. In other words, if you have bright lights on your property and they are shining into a neighbor's yard or window, you might be in violation of this ordinance.
You can find all the rules in this ordinance here:
San Angelo Light Intrusion Ordinance
To conclude, having your Christmas lights up past a certain date in San Angelo probably won't incur a visit of flashing blue lights. There is no law that your Christmas lights have to come down by a certain date here in San Angelo. However, good taste and superstition might say otherwise. In some neighborhoods, you might also incur the wrath of your neighbors.
Keeping them up all year might make a statement, although exactly what that statement is would be worthy of malicious interpretation.