|Published:||Dec 07, 2010 2:35 AM EST|
|Updated:||Dec 06, 2010 11:35 PM EST|
NAPLES, Fla. - Naples wants to turn off the lights. Restaurants on 5th Avenue South have had temporary lighting outside their doors for years, but now the city wants them to go dark.
"I think its ridiculous," said resident Alexis Isphording. "Yabbas had their lights up since they opened and for them to take it down, that's like taking down a piece of the restaurant."
Some of the shops use bright multi-colored strands, others twinkly white lights. Business owners say either way they're just trying to attract business and make their store stand out. Assistant City Manager Roger Reinke says that's what the city doesn't want.
"That's exactly what we're trying to avoid is the competition between business," said Reinke.
City code said for years that there can't be any temporary lighting outside but didn't enforce it. But, now that new street lights are in, the city says the other lighting needs to come down.
"When you allow people to put up lights you have no sense of uniformity. You diminish that sense of place," said Reinke.
Lore Cooper, who owns Back of the Bay a specialty store on 5th Avenue, says she agrees with the city. She thinks the lights should come down after the holidays.
"After that I think we can get along without them," said Cooper.
But, customers say they'll be missed.
"That's what 5th Avenue is known for. They always have lights up year round. I don't understand it," said Isphording
The lights have to come down by January 17th. The city says there's nothing in the code about Christmas lights, so there's no word on what will happen next holiday season.