Oops! Actual colors upset community
The uproar over the color scheme of the Spring Hill Village Shopping Center is a sure indicator that we live in a slow-paced county where excitement is sometimes hard to come by.
The strip mall’s owner, who lives in Napa, repainted it mustard yellow, with maroon accents and roof and a dark-green cupola. Oops! His agreement with the city when the center was constructed a decade ago at East Main Street and Hughes Road called for “a light gray body, a darker gray trim, brown columns, burgundy accents and a blue steel roof.”
After calls from offended citizens, Grass Valley is calling the owner on the carpet. Unless he can convince the city that the color scheme is not that bad, he may have to pay for repainting.
On the one hand, yes, people shouldn’t stray from a color agreement without getting the city’s prior approval. On the other hand, if a re-do was ordered on every property improvement in this county that was done without permission, half of the homes would have to be torn down.
On the one hand, yes, the colors are more lively than one usually sees in Nevada County. On the other hand, the county’s favorite colors for public and commercial buildings – “gray, darker gray, brown and burgundy” – are favored because they supposedly blend into the area’s natural beauty. Of course, they don’t. They just make the place look drab.
On the one hand, yes, city officials are worried that the paint job doesn’t match the surrounding buildings. On the other hand, let’s see what’s nearby: A bright yellow Shell station, the Big A drive-in, and a former used-car lot, most recently filled with rusty U-Haul trucks. Gee, we wouldn’t want to mar the aesthetics of the neighborhood. . . .
Barbara Getz, whose movie theaters are the center’s biggest draw, made two good points when she said the owner is a nice guy, and he needed to paint his building.
Of course, the members of the planning commission and the council – being political animals – must listen to what concerned citizens have to say. But let’s be sensible and realize that there are a lot more garish or trashy-looking buildings in Grass Valley than this one, and that perhaps a scolding and a warning for the future would be the wisest decision.
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