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Things got colorful at Tuesday’s Palm Coast City Council workshop, when city officials debated whether the city code should regulate what color residents paint their houses.
“When you first hear that we regulate house colors, there’s a certain perception,” City Manager Jim Landon said Tuesday. “But I think once you go to the background and understand it, you may not agree with it, but at least you’ll see it’s really a private developer/homeowners association kind of concept.”
The item came up earlier this year when a resident was told by the city's Code Enforcement Department to repaint her house. She had already invested $600, but she was told the blue color she selected didn't align with city code.
House color regulation began in the 1970s when ITT Corp. founded Palm Coast as a master-planned community, which deed-restricted all lands, including about 47,000 residential lots “to ensure character, nature and general scheme of development,” according to city documents. The deed restrictions included architectural consistency.
The city incorporated in 1999, and then, in 2008, the Unified Land Development Code was adopted and codified community appearance standards for all development.
The issue, according to city officials, is letting residents know that the city does regulate the house colors.
According to city code, any light pastels, including purple, red, orange, green, equal to or greater than (lighter) the 80% mark on the light reflectance value scale are allowed. Also, any earth tones, including brown, taupe, beige and gray, that are equal to or greater than (lighter) the 30% mark on the light reflectance scale are allowed.
According to Barbara Grossman, code enforcement manager, there have only been five code violations over the past 12 months.
To many members of the City Council, that’s not enough to continue the discussion.
“I don’t see any need to change the code,” City Councilman Bill McGuire said. “If you’re telling me you have (very few) violations of the code over the year that, to me, doesn’t warrant (a change).”
But City Councilman Jason DeLorenzo wasn’t satisfied. He said there is no definitive answer as to when the colors are outside of the earth tones.
“There’s no card that says, ‘This is the end of the earth tone section,’” he said. “It’s very subjective in the middle parts, and I think that’s where we’re having some issues. Not every color wheel is the same. ... When are you leaving the earth tones or the pastels?”
DeLorezno then suggested the city change its code to allow the colors to go slightly darker.
Although the city requires the house color to be approved during the building permit process, there’s no way to let used-home buyers know of the regulation. City officials agreed to develop handouts and to let title companies know of the code; that way, they could inform residents during the process of buying a home.
Landon agreed to get more color cards and information for the City Council to review DeLorenzo’s suggestion.
Currently 4 Responses
- I have no problem with the colors people may choose to paint their homes except that they fit in generally with the look and feel of the neighborhood in which homes are painted. People do need to exercise some common sense and be considerate of their neighbors. We all have perhaps the biggest investment of our lives in our homes and we want to protect that investment. Color is so subjective it is extremely difficult to regulate without providing a full palette of options. I doubt the city council has many members well versed in color selection and bringing in a color expert still only provides a subjective analysis. I see no value in City Council involvement in this issue.
- Welcome to little Iran!
- Much ado about color wheels in this economic environment ?-- Reality check please !
- palm coast is sucking more and more everyday if i new all these rules here i would of went some where else
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