Officials in Carlsbad say a 15-foot wooden cross erected on a hilltop in a park violates city rules and must come down.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reported Monday that someone erected the cross without a permit two weeks ago on city-owned land known as Veterans Park, an undeveloped area with miles of hiking trails.
The city posted a warning notice on the cross Friday stating that it must be removed within 72 hours or officials would take it down and place it in storage.
On Tuesday, city officials told NBC 7 the cross had been removed because it was erected without a permit, not because of its religious symbolism.
"The city regularly removes property that has been left at city parks because that is not allowed under city laws. Whenever possible we keep these items so the owners can pick them up, if they'd like them back. We are currently keeping the cross in a safe place, ready to be claimed," Kristina Ray, the city's Communications Manager said in a statement to NBC 7.