Make sure your neighbours enjoy your Christmas lights too
Published on 17 November 2020
Many people get into the Christmas spirit and create a sense of community through the display of Christmas lights at their home. The City of Swan encourages residents to ensure their display achieves the aims of celebrating the festive season and the information below is designed to assist you and your visitors in minimising the impact on neighbours.
Communication with neighbours
It is recommended that residents provide notice to nearby neighbours, advising of the lights display and any measures that will be taken to minimise disruption to them.
To minimise the impact on neighbours all participating homes are asked to have their displays commencing no earlier than December 1 or beyond January 1 and that displays are switched off by 10pm.
If your intent is to share your display with local people, the activity would be considered private. If you are specifically intending to attract a wider audience and you are promoting or advertising the display on social media (or another means), the activity may be considered public.
If you have included public attractions such as amusement rides, special guests, food sellers and entertainers, this will be considered public. Public events require approval under the Health (Public Buildings) Regulations 1992. It is an offence to hold an unapproved public event, and unapproved events may be closed by the City and/or WA Police.
You are not allowed to place any form of signage along local roads or within a thoroughfare, as this is a distraction to motorists and you could receive an infringement notice for doing so.
Music and sound effects must be at an acceptable volume and audible only until 10pm. Complaints received by the City will be investigated and infringements may apply for those that do not comply with the Environmental Protections (Noise) Regulations 1997.
If your lights remain switched on after 10pm, they are likely be considered a light nuisance. Regardless of the time, please take care to ensure your lights do not illuminate or cause a nuisance to neighbouring properties.
Traffic and parking
Parking complaints received by the City will be investigated and infringements may be issued. During peak visiting times at some properties safely parking your vehicle and walking to the Christmas light display may be a good option. Residents are not permitted to close a street or direct traffic without first seeking approval from the relevant agencies. Complaints regarding traffic congestion should be directed to WA Police.
Decorations must not restrict or obstruct any footpath and must be displayed 50cm back from the edge of the footpath or road. The verge is classified as the area between the edge of the road and your property boundary. Permanent structures are not permitted within the verge. All temporary structures within the verge must be frangible (able to break on impact), visible and not permanently fixed to the ground. To ensure public safety, all lights and other electronically operated devices that are mains connected must remain within private property. Only battery operated decorations are permitted within the verge.
Participating homes wishing to sell items such as ice cream or coffee to add to the attraction must apply for a Street Trading Licence under the City’s Consolidated Local Laws 2005. It is illegal to operate without approval from the City and penalties apply. Please read information under the Events heading.
Should you experience any antisocial behaviour this should be reported to the WA Police on 131 444.