Like a scene out of Footloose wherein Reverend Shaw Moore bans dancing at the high school prom, the city of Mill Valley, a wealthy albeit aesthetically-staid Marin County enclave north of the Golden Gate Bridge, wants nothing to do with fun, daring colors. Enter “Hawaiian Vacation”—a rebellious teal-and-turquoise hue now gracing the storefront of Branded Boutique.
“Complaints about the color began in August after [storeowner Kannyn January] had the store repainted,” reports SFGate, even though ”foot traffic is up by about a third since the paint job.”
Marin Independent Journal has more:
Kannyn January and her turquoise-painted store at 118 Throckmorton Ave. in downtown Mill Valley were put on trial at City Hall on Tuesday, after city planners said the bright paint, known as “Hawaiian Vacation,” violates city code. The fate of the vibrant color palette at Branded Boutique remains in limbo, however, as the Planning Commission didn’t have the answer.
The commission voted 4-0 to continue the hearing at a later date. The commission also suggested January work with the city to alter or tone down the color, which gives the area a lovely, lilting Umbrellas of Cherbourg-like vibe.
Mill Valley is dead serious about keeping its pallid 1970s-era colors in check, however dated they may be. In fact, city code says that “building colors should generally be muted earth tones derived from either painted surfaces or natural materials such as brick, wood, or stone.”
Those who dare go against Mill Valley bylaws, like January, run the risk of getting slapped with $100-per-day fines.
Not all the feedback on the turquoise color has been negative. SFGate goes on to say, that “[s]ome customers have rallied around January, and at the hearing, local artist/architect Brian Huber called it ‘refreshing.’”