Manhattan Beach 'emoji house' prompts frustrated residents to speak out at city council meeting

MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- Several residents expressed their concerns at a Manhattan Beach City Council meeting regarding a neighborhood home painted pink and decorated with giant emojis.

Neighbors say the bright fuchsia paint and two huge cross-eyed emojis -- one with a zippered mouth -- went up on the house on 39th Street in late May.

Since then, some residents complained their quiet neighborhood has become a tourist attraction.

"We have a lot of pedestrian traffic, car traffic, bikes, people sitting in our driveways, people filming, people FaceTiming," said a person at the meeting.

Manhattan Beach emoji war: House painted bright pink after neighbors report owner
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Some Manhattan Beach residents say the emoji war is not over, and they will fight to get the painting removed.

Another frustrated resident called the paint and emojis graffiti.

Kathryn Kidd, the owner of the so-called "emoji house," recently told Eyewitness News she used the home as a short-term rental, not realizing that's not allowed in Manhattan Beach.

Neighbors reported her and Kidd was fined $4,000. Shortly after that, neighbors say the paint and emojis went up.

"This was solely about retaliation and meant as a personal attack on my wife, me and our neighbors," said another attendee at the meeting.

Kidd previously told Eyewitness News it wasn't a retaliation.

Other residents worry it could lower property value and ask the city to do something.

"This all got started because a neighbor was trying to help the city enforce the rules," Dina Doll said during the meeting. "Again, people have come up to me to say, 'I've been afraid of retaliation as well if I report my neighbor.' Do you want a chilling effect here?"

The city planning commission is expected to take a closer look at a residential mural ordinance later this month.
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