Skip to comments.Hispanics see red over proposal
Posted on 10/11/2007 10:12:08 AM PDT by dr.zaeus
FARMERS BRANCH -- Some residents of this Dallas suburb that tried to ban apartment rentals to illegal immigrants now want the city to regulate which colorful hues people can paint their homes.
Although the City Council hasn't decided whether to consider any house paint restrictions, Hispanic leaders say it's yet another effort to target Latinos in the city.
"I believe controlling the color you paint your house is basically profiling the Hispanic community," said Elizabeth Villafranca, whose family owns a Mexican restaurant in Farmers Branch. "We all know who paints their homes tropical colors."
Two residents asked that the council discuss mandatory exterior color standards for buildings.
Such paint ordinances are usually set by homeowners' associations in the suburbs. Historical districts also regulate colors in an effort to preserve the original appearance of homes, said Jeffrey Rous, a University of North Texas professor who teaches urban economics.
Farmers Branch resident Tom Bohmier wonders whether there's a way to balance ruling out some shocking colors while keeping individuality. One of his neighbors has a home painted in several colors, including a flashy blue.
"It tends to harm the value of the neighborhood when people are shopping for homes," he said.
But Rous, who's building a home in Farmers Branch, questions whether it's proper for government to decide which color palette is considered garish or beautiful.
"To say that we're going to have government officials dictate what constitutes good aesthetics, I'm not sure local elected officials should be making those decisions," Rous said. "I'm not sure what the need is for this."
Victorian homes are often painted bright blue or peacock green. Buildings in South Beach typically have outside lights in electric purples and yellow. Structures in Santa Fe blend into the desert landscape with earthen reds or dark tans.
But most homes in Farmers Branch are brick, with trim or shutters painted in neutral colors. A handful are more brightly colored, such as one wood home with Kelly green trim and an upscale two-story house with one burnt orange side.
Residents Matt Burton and Robin Bernier proposed the color standards at a City Council meeting this month, presenting photos showing homes with shades they found unsightly.
Burton didn't immediately respond to a message for comment, and a telephone number for Bernier was not available.
But Bernier, who also supported the city's apartment ban, told The Dallas Morning News: "When you paint your house some fluorescent or garish color scheme, you negatively affect my [home] value."
For now, city officials plan no action.
"We're going to look into it and see what the legal ramifications are," said city spokeswoman Nicole Recker.
Farmers Branch leaders have become involved in the nationwide political debate over immigration.
The City Council approved an ordinance that would require apartment managers to verify that renters are U.S. citizens or legal immigrants before leasing to them, with a few exceptions. Landlords would have faced fines of up to $500 a day for violating the measure.
Voters endorsed the ordinance in May, but a federal judge has blocked its enforcement, saying Farmers Branch had attempted to regulate immigration in a different way than the federal government does.
I don’t think the city should rule on this, because they are setting themselves up for a lawsuit—but if subdivisions and neighborhoods want to set up HOAs (home owner associations) and determine what colors are allowed, more power to ‘em. It is quite disconcerting to be traveling through a nice neighborhood and come upon a house painted in bright neon colors—personally, we wouldn’t look for a home in that neighborhood because we’d be worried about the neighbors being as loud and rowdy as their housepaint! ;-)
This is really easy. These people are illegal criminals. They have no rights.
This is said, mind you, by a woman who doesn't approve of profiling.
Wouldn't they see, "rojo"?
“Hispanic leaders say it’s yet another effort to target Latinos in the city.”
Now who’s promoting racial stereotypes?
By their reasoning it could be argued that people who paint their houses bizarre colors are the racists as this tends to drive away whites.
If you don’t like my choice of color for MY home, then BUY it and paint it whatever color you wish. Otherwise, just don’t look at it.
Attitudes like what you appear to be espousing are what lead to bylaws where I have to apply for permission from the town to cut down MY trees on MY property. I WASTED 4 months this summer waiting for the township to approve my app to remove trees that were threatening both my house AND my neighbor’s. Then the tree police gave me grief for taking so long to apply!
I lost my place in line for the sawmill AND the roofer because the town took so long to finally inspect my trees.
Now I sit here with a yard full of 11 foot logs, and a leaking roof because someone decided that they didn’t like property owners dealing with their own property.
Oh, I have to apply for a permit from the town to replace my roof, too.
Unintended consequences is the term, FRiend. Be careful what you wish for, as you just might get it in the end...
You’re right! I missed that little slip when I read the article.
Clown Houses should all be painted the same color.....
There was a huge controversy in San Antonio several years ago when Sandra Cisneros painted her house purple. How’d you like to live next door to one of those? What these people are saying is, “We don’t give a damn how we relate to our pinche gringo neighbors. They have to adjust to us, we don’t have to adjust to them.” See my tagline.
I don’t know, I kinda’like it... it’s better than the old people that look like they were dressed by 5 year olds with “muted color perception”.
That watching what you hope for thing works two ways. There has to be some middle ground
It looks like a McDonald’s.
But that’s their choice. If they think they can find a buyer when they want to sell it, they better hope their property is zoned for retail/residential.