Thousands Show Support For Local Commercial Property Owner Who Defied City Development Ordinance

A local businessman who owns commercial property in the city of Carrollton is going after the city’s development ordinance—in particular where it addresses the color scheme allowed externally for new businesses.

Brent Harris started a change.org online petition over the weekend where he brought attention to the city’s insistence that the Pelican’s Snoballs building off Bankhead Highway abide by the city’s color code or the property owner should expect to pay a fine.

The building is painted bright blue and pink, which are the corporate colors for the franchise. The city says their existing ordinance requires buildings to be painted primarily in earth tones and allows up to twenty-five percent to be bright or accent colors.

As of Monday morning, Harris had collected approximately 9000 virtual signings of support for him. Many of the signings were attached with negative feedback towards the city’s potential actions.

The city on Sunday posted that the ordinance has been in place since 2007 “due to ongoing complaints about outlandish colors from some businesses such as title pawns, tattoo shops, etc.” They say the ordinance exists to allow for consistent guidelines to be fairly enforced across all business types.

The city claims that crews who painted the building had ignored advanced warning and continued painting. “In November 2019, a citation was issued to the building owner, Brent Harris, for violating the requirements of the ordinance,” a city official stated. “Hundreds of businesses over the years have complied with this ordinance and have effectively incorporated corporate colors within the guidelines. Dr. Harris is not exempt from the rules the rest of the community has to follow.”

Harris is scheduled to respond to the citation in municipal court next month.