Mistletoe fans will be delighted to know that it is probably legal to hang mistletoe in Seal Beach.

In our town, if it is not in the city code, then it is forbidden by the city code.

For example, the urgency ordinance that bans shops specializing in selling electronic cigarettes acknowledges the existence of e-cigarettes—and so legalizes their sale by stores that don’t specialize in them.

Another example: Several years ago, city staff noticed that the code did not acknowledge the existence of towing services. Staff immediately developed appropriate regulations for towing services. No doubt the owner of the only towing service in town felt he was being picked on, but in reality city staff did him a favor. Staff could have sent him a letter asking him to voluntarily cease doing business until staff drew up a towing business amendment to the code.

So you will probably be relieved to know that the city code would probably allow you to hang mistletoe. I recently interviewed Jim Basham, director of Seal Beach Community Development. He confirmed that if it isn’t in the city code, it isn’t allowed.

Basham said the code cannot prohibit forces of nature such as the rain or the waves.

I said I bet there was no mention of mistletoe in the code.

Basham said that mistletoe could be evaluated under the city code for landscaping, with the staff using their common sense. If staff can associate some type of land use with it, then mistletoe could be allowed.

So mistletoe is apparently legal in our town or ought to be. But I was a little surprised to see some hanging near the cash register of a local business, where it was being sold. (The sprig was later removed for reasons unknown to me.) Now, I would not have hung mistletoe in the first place for fear of being sued for sexual harassment. That may say more about me than our litigious society, but I respectfully advised you not to press the matter if someone who passes under a sprig of mistletoe doesn’t want to be kissed.


On the other hand, if your friend has no objection I don’t see how it is any of my business. Have fun.

For those of you who are interested, I know that the Boy Scouts are selling mistletoe because they have a basket on the counter at Javatinis on Main Street.


only 1 comment until now

  1. Marc Loopesko

    so fun, and so well said Charles!

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