This pink Emoji house is causing quite the stir in Manhattan Beach — but the city’s hands are tied, officials say – Daily News

on Aug8
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During roughly 13 minutes of public comment at a City Council meeting August 6, seven Manhattan Beach residents vocalized concerns about what has become colloquially known as “The Emoji House.”

The bright fuchsia two-story home on 39th Street in the city, which is decked with two giant emoji faces, has caused a stir in the sleepy neighborhood of El Porto, with locals calling it everything from a public nuisance to a safety hazard.

The bright fuchsia two-story home on 39th Street in Manhattan Beach, which is decked with two giant emoji faces, has caused a massive stir in the sleepy neighborhood of El Porto, with locals calling it everything from a public nuisance to a safety hazard. Photo: Kirsten Farmer

“I live two doors town from Manhattan Beach’s newest tourist attraction,” said resident Carol Madonna, who added there has been a significant increase in pedestrian and car traffic on the street from people hoping to catch a glimpse or take a photo of the house. “It is a very unwelcome addition to our neighborhood.”

The home was being used as a short-term rental, according to media reports.

Such rentals have been a hot-button issue Manhattan Beach and are currently illegal after officials underwent a lengthy process to uphold a long-standing ban on short-term stays to preserve the small-town beach-town feel of the city.

So when neighbors reported the activity, a city inspector fined homeowner Kathryn Kidd $4,000 in May.

Shortly after Kidd was fined, the home was painted to add the emojis—which include one with its tongue out and another with a zippered mouth.

Neighbors have since decried it as an act of retaliation, one they claim violates city laws against graffiti.

But current city code limits officials’ legal capacity to address the painting on the house as a sign, graffiti or mural and act accordingly.

“Right now, there’s nothing on the books that would allow us to make any change or force any change with what they’ve done with that house,” said City Manager Bruce Moe in an Aug. 6 interview. “As it stands now, we need to go through that process to determine what we can actually enforce.”

Until then, however, there is little the city can do to force Kidd’s hand in repainting the house, despite adjacent homeowners’ protests.

“I don’t even know why we’re talking about mural laws. This is not a mural, this is graffiti,” said Greg Doll, who lives on 39th. “Every other mural I’ve seen in the city actually tries to do something artistic and beautify the city. This is just a slash and burn, destroy the relationship with your neighbors.”

But, Kidd urged her motivations for painting the home were not nefarious, despite her neighbors’ allegations.

“After hearing the depressing news day in and out, I chose to paint my building with happy, fun colorful emojis,” Kidd said in an email. “The world is full of hate and crime. Since, I live in the area, I wanted to have something fun and happy.”

Kidd also told media outlets that she did not realize short-term stays were illegal and that she accepted full responsibility for having hosted one — a claim her neighbors challenged at the council meeting.



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