Oceanside church considers legal action over removed Nativity scene

Posted at 5:38 PM, Dec 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-05 21:27:40-05

OCEANSIDE, Calif. (KGTV) - An Oceanside church could take legal action to reinstall the Nativity scene removed by their homeowners’ association, Ranch Maintenance Agreement. A cutout of Joseph and Mary was tossed over a concrete sign for the Lighthouse Christian Church.

“We’re disappointed that our own association to whom we pay dues would act like this and then hide behind anonymity and not talk with us,” said Pastor Mike Openshaw. “No rules were furnished to us, just a demand to take it down ‘or else we’ll take it down for you.’”

Pastor Openshaw said the got an email last week asking the church to remove the Nativity. RMA argued it was on its property. Openshaw questioned that because the Nativity sat on a concrete wall that was damaged in a car accident. RMA said that wall was Church property when it asked RMA to fix the damaged wall.

“There’s no question the monument and the Nativity Scene were well within our property line,” said Openshaw.

Tuesday, a City of Oceanside employee helped the pastor map out approximately where the church’s property line stood.

“You can see this monument is well within our property,” the pastor said while pointing at a map that shows the Nativity scene was on church property.

However, Pastor Openshaw said RMA does have an easement that would impact the church’s property.

“We’re talking to our attorney and we’ll follow legal advice for how we proceed from here,” he said.

In the meantime, Stos Partners, the property management company representing Ranch Maintenance Agreement said Stos Partners played no part in removing the Nativity. It also told 10News it gave RMA a 30-day notice on Monday it was ending its contract as RMA’s property manager. The Stos Partners statement did not explain why.

10News tried getting in contact with the Ranch Maintenance Agreement Board of Directors.  However, Stos Partners did not provide their contact information.