In 3-2 vote, Pines rejects color palette


Article Courtesy of the Sun Sentinel

By Joe Kollin
Published October 10, 2004


PEMBROKE PINES Homeowners won't need the city's approval to paint their houses the color of their choice.

In a 3-2 vote, city commissioners last week decided to abandon further discussion of setting a palette for homes in developments unregulated by mandatory homeowner associations.


The commission followed in the footsteps of Weston and Tamarac, which heard requests for color controls but decided against them. Some cities, including Coral Springs, Lauderhill and Plantation, already regulate colors.

Mayor Frank Ortis and Commissioners Angelo Castillo and Iris Siple voted against the measure, while Vice Mayor Ben Fiorendino and Commissioner William B. Armstrong supported it.

Paul Girello, president of the neighborhood association for the Pembroke Lakes area, proposed color controls earlier this year after a family painted its house red.

The 1,700 houses in Pembroke Lakes have deed restrictions, but the development does not have a mandatory homeowner association, making it more of a traditional neighborhood. The neighborhood association is voluntary and can't impose dues or enforce deed restrictions on owners as the mandatory association can.

Girello wanted the city to regulate colors for all traditional neighborhoods, but he couldn't get support. Even though the city promoted public hearings on the issue through advertising and cable television notices, very few residents showed up at the Planning & Zoning Board meetings where the issue was discussed.

"The city should help communities protect themselves from people coming in and doing what they want to do," Girello said.

But resident Anthony Joyce said owners who buy in traditional neighborhoods may do so because they don't want to live with a lot of rules, and the city should respect that.

Homeowners should have the right, within reason, to do what they want with their property, added Carol Miles, who lives in a community controlled by a mandatory homeowner association.

Castillo led the opposition to color regulations.

"I've been searching for a way to say yes [to color controls], but I can't find any," he said, noting that Girello presented no petitions from Pembroke Lakes homeowners demanding a law.

Castillo said he drove through the Pembroke Lakes area and talked to people who purposely moved into a community without a mandatory association.

"We live in a country where property rights are at the highest level," Siple said.

"I hesitate to tread on a property owner's rights," Castillo said.