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Bucks County Woman Fined By Homeowner's Association For Colored Christmas Lights

By Oren Liebermann

DOYLESTOWN STATION, Pa. (CBS) -- Marie Buonanno has boxes of holiday lights to decorate her house. She already has one tree up in her living room and a nativity scene. But this holiday season, she would not dare decorate outside.

"It is very disappointing that we can't celebrate the Christmas holiday the way that we religiously choose to," says Buonanno.

Her home only has a holiday wreath on the door, since the Doylestown Station Condominium Association told her the bylaws do not allow colored Christmas lights. Last year, she was fined $400, $10 for each day her lights were up. But she says she was the only one slapped with a fine.

"One of my neighbors that I spoke to a few days ago, who decorates with multicolored lights, says he never got a letter of warning or a fine."

Only white, non-blinking lights are allowed outside. And you can only put up a single white, blue, or orange light in your windows. Neighbors collected 62 signatures to ask the Association board to allow colored Christmas lights. In response, the Association sent out a survey.

Out of 38 total responses, 19 voted for white lights, 14 voted for colored non-blinking lights, and 5 voted for colored blinking. The board said the vote was 19-14 against colored lights, interpreting the 5 votes as a separate category.

"As long as it's tasteful," says neighbor Marc Udell, "let the community do what the community is going to do."

No one answered the door at the Association president's house. Some neighbors say they like the look of white lights.

"Some colored lights are pretty and they have their place in neighborhoods, but you never really know how far people are going to go with them," says Jeff Edwards.

It will be a holiday of white lights for Buonanno and her neighborhood. She says for now she will miss her colored lights and the holiday cheer they brought to her home.

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