illegal paint job

The owner of Island Republic in the St. Simons village had to stop painting the front of his store Saturday due to a citizen complaint. County officials determined the work was a violation of code.

The owner of the clothing and souvenir shop Island Republic decided to bring a little more color to the Pier Village last week.

Anyone passing by the store at the corner of Mallery Street and Butler Avenue on St. Simons Island over the weekend would have noticed the storefront’s transition from beige to bright purple.

Some didn’t appreciate the new paint scheme and took their concerns to Glynn County, which found it violated section 709.6(a) of the Glynn County Zoning Ordinance.

“I have talked to the owner, and they are going to be applying for a village preservation permit in order to paint it a different color,” said county Planning Manager Stephanie Leif. “I did inform them, to repaint the color they wanted to paint, they would have to get permission from the Islands Planning Commission.”

Exterior paint jobs are allowed in the Pier Village as long as they don’t “consist of violent contrasts of materials or intense colors not representative of the existing buildings in the immediate area,” according to the code section. The county generally interprets the “violent contrasts” to mean anything other than the same or a very similar color to the original, Leif said.

Otherwise, the building owner has to get a permit.

“If they were going to repaint a shade of beige, they would not have to get village preservation approval, they could just do it,” Leif said. “According to the code, because they were painting it a color that’s different (from the original color) and different from the surrounding buildings, that’s what triggered the permit.”

A lot of times property owners just aren’t aware of the regulations but will go through the process if given the chance, she explained.

“If we have given someone a warning and they continue to violate and don’t go through the process, we would cite them and possibly take the issue to (Glynn County) Magistrate Court,” Leif said.

The county will try to get it on the IPC’s Aug. 20 agenda, she said, but it may not make it that far.

“After I saw this color, even I don’t want it,” said shop owner Avi Menasherov.

Menasherov wasn’t married to the new color, and after seeing it on the wall he isn’t a big fan. As such, the old beige will soon return. It isn’t a big deal, he said.

“People like to make an elephant out of things. This is an ant,” Menasherov said.

The building owner will put in an application to change the color, he said, but likely won’t pursue it to the IPC.

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