Event policy enforcements spook Eucalyptus Street residents


Elise Hsu

Following the City Council’s enforcement of policies regarding street celebrations, most houses on Eucalyptus remain undecorated a week before Halloween. According to Eucalyptus Street resident Gabriel Federighi, there are less elaborately decorated houses because other residents “don’t want to have liability for anything that happens” on Halloween night.

The San Carlos City Council has chosen to enforce public event policies towards the Halloween celebration on Eucalyptus Street, according to a city letter sent to Eucalyptus Street residents on Sept. 13.

The letter stated that one enforced policy regards street closure. The street can only be closed if two-thirds of the residents that live on the street agree to fill out and send a permit to City Council at most 30 days before the event. Other enforced policies include restricting loud noises after 9 p.m. and the prohibition of public drinking. According to Mayor Mark Olbert, some residents of Eucalyptus Street expressed their discontent with the enforcement in a thread on NextDoor titled “Halloween canceled on Eucalyptus.”

Gabriel Federighi, a sophomore at Sequoia High School who lives on Eucalyptus Street, felt as though the timing of the policy enforcement wasn’t fair to residents.  

“We got the letter at the end of September … Eucalyptus Street residents had only two days to notify the city about closing the street, and that wasn’t enough time,” Federighi said. He also noted that some residents didn’t decorate their houses to avoid liability for incidents that happen on the street.

The city has no control over [canceling Halloween] … that would be analogous to the city saying you can’t have your relatives over for Thanksgiving.”

— Mayor Mark Olbert

Kyra Schechter, a sophomore at Sequoia High School, also lives on Eucalyptus Street. According to Schechter, Eucalyptus Street will remain open on Halloween night, which could pose a risk to visitors, especially young trick-or-treaters.

“It’s important to have the street closed [on Halloween] because letting cars through could potentially be dangerous for young children who trick-or-treat on Eucalyptus Street,” Schechter said.

In order to address backlash from Eucalyptus Street residents, Olbert wrote a blog post providing more information about the policy enforcements.  The post stated that the enforcements were a response to incidents, including public drinking and vehicular traffic, that hindered residents during Halloween. However, Olbert clarified that City Council is not canceling Halloween on Eucalyptus Street.

“The city has no control over [canceling Halloween],” Olbert said. “That would be analogous to the city saying you can’t have your relatives over for Thanksgiving.”

Olbert also said that residents do not need a permit to decorate their houses for Halloween.

Tess Rickson, a sophomore, has visited Eucalyptus Street multiple times in the past few years and enjoys the elaborate decorations the residents put up each year. However, she wasn’t aware of the policy enforcements and noted that other non-residents could also be in the dark.

“I doubt other people within San Carlos will know of [the policy enforcements], so I don’t think people outside of San Carlos will know,” Rickson said.

If outsiders are unaware of the policies, according to Schechter, then Halloween on Eucalyptus Street could be tougher to control. The confusion surrounding the policy enforcements and a decrease in decorated houses has left Federighi unsure of his plans for Halloween night.

“I’m not sure if my friends will walk down Eucalyptus Street with me,” Federighi said. “I’m not sure what’s going on.”

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