Yes, Virginia, there is a blow-up Santa Claus. A great big one tethered to Buy My Bikes on Camino Capistrano in San Juan Capistrano. OwnerJim Curwood
says the holiday display attracts customers.
But city Scrooges say, "Bah, humbug." They say the jolly old fat man is an eyesore. They say Curwood is looking at a lump of coal in the form of a $100 fine for violating SJC's sign law.
Naturally, that pisses off Curwood.
"I think they should pick their battles a little differently," he tells KABC's Eyewitness News, "and it's very frustrating being a business owner for so long, that they're going to come and tackle Santa Claus."
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The city is not budging, issuing the following robo-statement:
"The city of San Juan Capistrano received a complaint regarding a possible municipal code violation at this location. The inflatable sign is a violation of the city's municipal code and a notice of violation was issued."
Curwood has no plans to remove the offending inflatable. Fine or no, as far as he's concerned, let it blow, let it blow, let it blow. And plastic St. Nick has the support of at least one local elf.
"It's ridiculous," Joan Boyer, who lives around the corner from the bike shop and has a perfectly legal inflatable train on her yard, tells the TV station. "What is he hurting?"