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The holidays are approaching, and decorations are starting to appear. Are you effectively creating,

With the holiday season just around the corner, it's time to spread some festive cheer and support owners in decorating their homes with holiday decorations, within reason. At CPS, we value engaging with homeowners to create a harmonious and beautiful living environment, and holiday decorations play a significant role in achieving this.

As with all your association operations, being clear and proactive with your communication to owners is vital to making the holiday decoration season a positive experience for the residents.

How to make that happen?

Take this time to review your decoration rules for the following.

1. Timing: You need to be specific about how soon before a holiday that decorations can be displayed and at what point following the holiday that the decorations need to be removed. Also consider if installation and displaying are different. Some associations permit lighting to be installed prior to Thanksgiving, but only to be turned on after that day.

2. What Can Be Displayed: Holiday decorations come in all shapes and sizes, from elegant wreaths to vibrant inflatables. Creativity and self-expression through decorations is encouraged. However, to maintain the aesthetic appeal of our community and ensure safety, here are some things to think about.

• Inflatables: Consider the noise, size, number, and watch for obstruction of traffic and pedestrian views.

• Lights: Some associations say the more the merrier, and others want uniformity of location and color. Providing owners with these details will help prevent issues.

3. Traffic: You read that correctly. Holiday lights can be attractive to people not living in your community and additional traffic may cause congestion as well as blocking of owner driveways. What should be done if a house has a holiday display worthy of such attention.

Enforcement and Education

To ensure that holiday decoration guidelines are followed, make sure to employ a fair and proactive approach.

1. Notify owners early and often about holiday decoration rules. Ideally, you get this information to them prior to installation.

2. Conduct routine inspections to identify any decorations that may be in violation of the guidelines. Make sure to promptly communicate with the owner in violation to prevent other community members from installing similar decorations.

3. Take serious consideration of the timeframe for removal. Giving two weeks to remove decorations that are only permitted for a two-week window of time is counterproductive.

4. Send holiday decoration removal reminders prior to deadlines. The most common one we recommend is Christmas due to the declining weather that makes lingering decorations more difficult to remove as the cold January days continue to see temperature drops and snow accumulation.

As always, providing the community with proactive communication will prevent a significant number of issues from occurring. We’ve seen the good, bad, and ugly, so feel free to contact us if you have any questions about your association rules or enforcement procedures.

Written by Arnold Barzak, CPS:

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