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Hartselle denies redesign plans with pink trim

By Deangelo McDaniel
dmcdaniel@decaturdaily.com · 340-2469

HARTSELLE — Jessie Woodward will be able to move her interior and gift shop business to the corner of Main and Railroad streets.

She can even paint the exterior white and black. But, that’s where the Central Business District Design and Review Board is drawing the line. They don’t want to the business owner to bring the pink trim around the windows with her.

The board on Monday denied Ronnie and Jennifer Woodward’s application because of the pink paint. Jennifer Woodward owns Polka Dots, a business about four doors down from the corner lot.

She is moving her business into the building Las Vias Mexican Grill occupied for nearly a year.

The Woodwards want to paint the brick building white with black accent, install a black and white stripe awning and paint the window trim pink.

In denying the application, the board said the pink does not conform to the appearance of existing buildings in the historical district.

Part of the board’s mandate, according to its bylaws, is to protect the historical integrity downtown and ensure that exterior changes conform to the overall character of the central business district.

“This is not saying the colors wouldn’t go with something else, but I’m not happy with what I’m seeing here,” board member David Burleson said.

The Woodwards were not at the meeting. They could appeal the board denial to the Planning Commission and then to the City Council.

The Woodwards wanted to use the colors because that is what they have at the business’ existing location, which is also inside the historic district.

Board Chairman Patrick Pettus said they did not approve the pink when the Woodards painted that building in August 2005.

“A lot of people were upset that we were not following our rules and doing what the board called for,” Pettus said.

Jeff Johnson of the Department of Development said the pink color was above the application the board approved in 2005. He said he met with the Woodwards and they asked him to let them finish the painting.

“They said if the board didn’t like it, they would change the color,” Johnson said.

Burleson, Pettus and board member Sue Hill said they were never called to review the paint.

Johnson said the board and his department didn’t force the Woodwards to change the color.

The board said they were not going to make the same mistake again, especially since the building is one of the oldest in Hartselle. Burleson said it’s the third oldest brick building in Hartselle and one of 60 in the downtown historic district that is on the National Historic Registry.

“This building has more historical appeal than other buildings (downtown) in terms of architect and appearance,” Burle-son said. “I think we’re all in agreement that we’re not happy with the way this is presented.”

The vote to deny the application was unanimous.

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