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City Council Urged to Approve Salon’s Gray Paint Job in Historic District

The Alexandria planning officials have suggested that the City Council consider overturning a previous decision by the Board of Architectural Review (BAR), which would allow a local hair salon to retain its exterior paint job, completed without prior approval. The Glynn Jones Salon, located at 720 King Street, came under scrutiny in May when it was revealed that a significant portion of its exterior had been painted gray.

On July 6, the BAR unanimously rejected the salon’s application for a certificate of appropriateness for the paint job. Despite the salon being situated in the Old Town Historic District, city officials argue that the painting has not negatively impacted the previously unpainted masonry.

The BAR had initially concluded that painting the building’s yellow brick was inappropriate due to the rarity of such buildings in Alexandria, considering it a defining characteristic. However, city staff disagree, stating that the partial painting of the previously unpainted masonry does not detract from the building’s character or diminish the historic character of the district.

Anthony Hughes, representing the salon, argued in the appeal that the building’s facade was constructed in the 1960s and is not historic. Hughes stated, “The brick used in the construction is not historically significant, as it is not part of the original structure. Therefore, any alterations to the exterior, including painting, should be evaluated based on the existing planning guidelines and not restricted by the historical context of the area, but on a case-by-case basis.”

According to city records, the building at 720 King Street was erected between 1891 and 1896. However, alterations and additions have been made over the decades. The Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps reveal that brick construction was first used in the main building in 1931. As such, this part of the building is considered an Early building within the Old and Historic Alexandria District. However, a major renovation in 1967 completely rebuilt the front/north elevation, leading to its classification as a Late building.

The Zoning Ordinance strictly prohibits painting previously unpainted masonry surfaces without BAR approval. However, the BAR does not regulate the colours of buildings once they are already painted. The gray colour chosen for the building’s storefront, despite being applied without BAR approval, is subtle and does not detract from or diminish the character of the building and/or the adjacent existing structures. Moreover, the colour gray has been historically appropriate for both Early and Late buildings within the historic districts.

This case underlines the importance of consulting professional services like a Colourbond fence painter near me or a gate repairs service before undertaking any alterations to a property. It is essential to ensure that any changes, including Colourbond fence painting or garage door painting, adhere to local regulations and respect the historical context of the area.

The issue also highlights the need for homeowners and businesses to be aware of the services available to them, such as fence repairs near me, to maintain their properties’ exterior aesthetics while adhering to local guidelines. The final decision on the Glynn Jones Salon’s exterior paint job now rests with the City Council, who will weigh the arguments from both sides before making a ruling.

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