110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
By Jen Horton
posted Oct 30, 2013 - 3:12:37pm
The City of DeLand is planning to give businesses a lot more leeway in choosing paint colors.
Currently, commercial property owners and tenants must choose exterior building colors from a pretty limited list of earth tones and pastels.
If you don't like the color choices, you're out of luck; there is no recourse if your business-branding color isn't on the approved list.
The rules aren’t popular. City Commissioner Phil Martin said limiting the choice of colors a business owner is allowed to use is pretty high on the "gripe list."
All the city commissioners voted Oct. 21 to broaden the color choices and change the rules. The looser rules will have to be approved a second time before taking effect.
City Planning Director Mike Holmes said two big changes are being made: The first is a uniform set of standards for picking paint, instead of an arbitrary list. Second, there will be an appeal process.
"Before, they were just told no, and were out of luck," Holmes said. "How do you really appeal on an arbitrary set of colors?"
The appeal process will allow commercial business owners to ask the City Commission for a variance from the paint standards in the code.
"We're able to work with you," Holmes said.
Under the new rules, if the changes are approved on second reading, allowable paints will be determined by a universal measurement rather than a color list.
Paint has a “light reflective value” or LVR rating. If you get a paint card from a store, it shows a color family on one card. The darkest shade is on the bottom, the lightest is at the top. Each square on that color card has an LVR — which is often printed on the back of the card. The higher the rating, the lighter the paint color.
Under the old rules, only paints with an LVR of 70 percent or higher could be used. The colors were super-light. The city is relaxing the rules to allow paint with an LVR of 50 percent or higher for use on most of a building’s surface. That means medium-range shades can be used.
Plus, accent colors can have LVRs of 20 percent or higher, including dark hues.
"We felt that this was a good system," Holmes said. "Here's a number, so we're not being arbitrary."
Martin requested that staff bring back pictures of buildings with more than two colors, so the City Commission could have a visual aid before voting for the second time on the new rules.
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