Cary business sits half-painted after Town halts work due to ord - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Cary business sits half-painted after Town halts work due to ordinance

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To remedy the deteriorating look of old brick and cracking, Ladd Commercial Properties began painting the exterior of one of its buildings on East Chatham Street in historic downtown Cary. (Dave Bertram, WNCN) To remedy the deteriorating look of old brick and cracking, Ladd Commercial Properties began painting the exterior of one of its buildings on East Chatham Street in historic downtown Cary. (Dave Bertram, WNCN)
CARY, N.C. -

It's no secret that the Town of Cary is notorious for its muted color scheme. In fact, some may even say the town's standards are rigid.

One Cary landlord is learning the hard way that it is better to ask permission than forgiveness.

To remedy the deteriorating look of old brick and cracking, Ladd Commercial Properties began painting the exterior of one of its buildings on East Chatham Street in historic downtown Cary a neutral color.

But after the work started, Kitchen and Bath Galleries employee Lee Rothstein said the business was informed of the town ordinance requiring that brick, stone and concrete on commercial buildings be kept in their natural state.

The building in question currently houses Kitchen and Bath Galleries.

"The town noticed it and came to the painters and said, ‘You have two options: quit or be fined,'" Rothstein said.

Landlord Dick Ladd admits that he never thought to seek approval from the town before painting. The town is now considering an appeal on the ordinance.

In the meantime, the building sits half painted, and locals are question the paint debate and overall taste.

"I think they are extremely picky," resident Karen Parsons said.

Phil Epley pointed out, "Some of the things that are called art -- that's allowed in this town. But then they won't allow somebody to try to improve their property."

Parsons used to own a business and downtown Cary and had a similar experience.

"I definitely think they should have finished the paint job," Parsons said. "Looking at it, it looks worse."

The town planning director said the council might re-visit the ordinance. But if the ordinance stands, Ladd will have to remove the paint from the building's walls.

Ladd, however, said the paint will stay.

Melanie Sanders

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