Top 10 2017: Pink paint still a problem


Editor's note: This story is part of a series recapping the top stories of 2017. Read the other top stories here.

A controversy around paint color will continue into the new year. BB Makeup Cosmetics Bar on Third Street is still pink, and the city still has a problem with it.

Currently, owner Brooke Fleetwood said there have been no updates on the situation. She is continuing with her appeal against the city's issued code violation.

According to the city, the pink color violates zoning code of the downtown overlay district that was established in 2007. These downtown district guidelines include regulation regarding "changes to existing color," according to a September statement from Hudson Community Development Director Mike Johnson.

High-intensity fluorescent colors should be avoided, according to Section 2.2 of the Downtown Visioning Guidelines, and bright colors should be used for accent only.

The purpose of these guidelines is to "ensure coordinated design of new and existing building exteriors, additions and accessory structure exteriors in order to prevent visual disharmony" and "minimize adverse impacts on adjacent properties from buildings which detract from the character and appearance of the district," according to the code.

The issue started over the summer, when Fleetwood painted the house that holds her business pink. A year earlier, when she first purchased the property, she was told at a meeting with the city that she would not be allowed to paint her signature color. Fleetwood however said other businesses in the area have bright, non-neutral colors.

"So why are you discriminating against pink," she said.

She decided since no one else had been told to repaint, she would go ahead with her pink paint color. Within three days, city hall, located just across the street, noticed. Fleetwood received a phone call, and then a letter telling her she had 30 days notice to repaint the business.

Fleetwood decided to stand up to the decision, and she wasn't alone. She filed an appeal, and started a petition that has since garnered more than 6,500 signatures in support.

The story garnered widespread attention from not only the Hudson community, but media in the Twin Cities and out of state as well. The Hudson Star Observer Facebook page received many comments and shares, both in support of the color and against it.

"Her hot pink house and business are not just violating the ordinance, but ruining the historic atmosphere of downtown Hudson. I highly doubt this would be an issue if her house was in the town of Hudson and her business uptown some where," said Mac Spohn in a Facebook comment.

"Let it go!!! This is her trademark color!!! It's pink! So what?!!!!!!!!!!" said Becky Cudd Koepke in a comment.

Fleetwood said in September she was grateful for the positive comments and support.

"It's nice to have such a positive following and a lot of voices so I don't have to do it myself," she said.