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Thread: Exterior building colors

  1. #1
    Cyburbian mallen's avatar
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    Exterior building colors

    Does anyone have an acceptable standard (possibly within Architectural Design Standards) for regulating exterior building colors?

    In my community, we generally do not overregulate, but something on the horizon that may cause us to need to regulate the type of super-gaudy places. Not interesting character, but rather over-the-top, attention grabbing, "look-at-me", stuff. Neon pinks, flourescent yellows, purples and green schemes.

    Anyone have any acceptable paint colors scheme names that you have used?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    One of the things I found striking about Ireland were the many colors used on buildings, yes a lot of the same colors you mentioned. These things looked great. Many of the 'party stores' (local term for convience shops) in Michigan for some reason like to follow these colors and are considered garish looking.

    I guess the best guide would be that color has to be context sensitive and not too far out there, but its awfully hard to regulate this without getting so prescriptive that businesses may just say forget it, and not improve their building.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Earth tone colors is a highly used name in regulations.

    Of course- I tend to resent regulations that attempt to make everything look the same. Being creative and unusual should be applauded not condemned. I have to wonder how paint color affects the public health, safety or welfare.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
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    It takes every kind of color to make the world go round.
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

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    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    I have been, where applicable, saying to move away from the Earth-tone pastels and other bland color schemes. While flourescent and neon colors are rarely used in the town I work in, I have not had to disallow or negotiate not using a color like that.
    I have found very bright colors to be a cultural thing out here in CO. The town I went to college in, Greeley, has a substantial Hispanic/Mexican population, who tend to favor those colors for everyday life. A lot of Anglos in Greeley would complaint about the color of a house, but to the Hispanic population that was normal and the light blue and beige houses would be the odd ones.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
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  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by mallen
    In my community, we generally do not overregulate, but something on the horizon that may cause us to need to regulate the type of super-gaudy places.
    Mallen, please do not regulate paint colors. This type of excessive, unnecessary regulation gives planners a bad name.

    Plus, I agree that non-traditional colors work. Look at the attached photo. What is better, this new shopping center featuring "neon pinks, flourescent yellows, purples" you want to make illegal or a typical American mall featuring earth tone colors?

    http://www.premiumoutlets.com.mx/ima...outlet-pic.jpg

  7. #7
    Cyburbian mallen's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jtmnkri
    Mallen, please do not regulate paint colors. This type of excessive, unnecessary regulation gives planners a bad name.
    We do not usually regulate things to that fine of grain. And I personally agree that it can easily be abused. But I do not think that it is necessarily an "excessive, unnecessary regulation (that) gives planners a bad name."

    For more detail on this situation: this is a potential porn shop that has a history of suing local jurisdictions to move into the community. They locate in existing buildings, sue on free speech grounds (often win). Recent court decisions have said that we can regulate such businesses, but cannot prohibit them. We understand and accept that. But this company's M.O. in nearby communities is to then to paint the building the most offensive, over-the-top, paint scheme possible to attract attention.

    I personally don't have a problem with such places at the right location and situation. In fact, we had another one open (a more reserved "competitor" of the above guy) a while back. And that is the problem. The "new guy" feels like the competitor has moved into his area. He simply wants to stick it in the other guys eye. His plans are for the place to be as big and ugly as possible. It is in the front door of our community.

    We currently have archtectural regulations. But they largely exempt 1) existing buildings and 2) paint colors.

  8. #8
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Well....good luck, mallen. I don't have any direction for you about possible regulation language/experience, but i would caution you to advise the elected officials to not make these regulations too specific (such as only for "porn shops", ect.), because that could be construed, rightly, as discriminatory.

    Make sure the regualtions are applied across the community.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian mallen's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mendelman
    Make sure the regualtions are applied across the community.
    I have a pretty good Council. They will follow our lead.

    I recognize the pitfalls of creating a regulation to address one situation. I don't want to do that either. That is why I am trying to get ahead of the situation a little bit and see what other professionals have used to make "lemonade out of lemons" so-to-speak.

    I am concerned that "earth tones" is a little too subjective and vague (maybe too narrow also). Does anyone use a named pallet of colors?

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I have often seen a limitation on the number of colors that can be used, prohibitions on "primary colors" and requirements for "muted colors." I think it may be somewhat difficult to define these terms in legally defensible language. Like others, I generally do not like regulations such as this, but in your case it may be justifiable.
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