Here we go again.
Another year, another banning of “something” displayed by a homeowner or renter in celebration of the holiday.
On Memorial Day or Independence Day, it’s usually the “unacceptable” display of an American flag in violation of homeowner association edicts.
During the Christmas Season, the “violating displays” vary.
In the case of the residents of Lake Ridge Commons, a senior living community in Wilmington, North Carolina, it’s the display of any holiday decorations on their doors, porches, or patios.
As reported by WECT, residents received a notice about the ban on Dec. 1, which read, in part:
This includes, but is not limited to door decorations, wreaths, signs, etc. Please remove immediately all personal items from entry doors.
WECT’s report added that:
The prohibition on public decorations had existed in the lease since the community opened in 2012, but residents say it was not enforced until July 2017 when they were first notified in a letter to comply.
So, why the “sudden” enforcement of the policy?
According to Excel Property Management president Ann Hanson, WECT reported she said she had no choice, other than to ban all items — “to preserve the peace.”
The whole thing started earlier this year when some residents posted “offensive and defensive” messages on their front doors about other residents and/or property management.
The “policy is not intended to hurt the holiday season, but to preserve it,” said Hanson.
Regardless, resident Ann Taylor disagrees:
“I think it’s a shame because it’s holiday time. People are paying their rent. They own that door. To be told we can’t put wreaths up is really horrible and a lot of people are upset.”
Resident Leigh Bowser, who just released a Christmas album with twin brother Lance, told WECT:
“We had door decorating contests, wrapping paper covered doors, festive wreaths. Now Christmas is illegal. Any display of Christmas is banned.”
So does Bowser plan to comply with the ban? Not in the least.
Bowser, who hung a small wreath on his door in protest, explained:
“It’s part of my religion. It’s part of my expression. […] This could be my last Christmas. This whole ordeal has taken years off my life.”
The management’s notice said that failure to comply can lead to lease termination.
Video of the story is below.