California Color Cops Outlaw Yellow Homes

By National Center for Public Policy Research | July 7, 2008 | 8:21pm EDT

(Editor's Note: The following is the 88th of 100 stories regarding government regulation from the book Shattered Dreams, written by the National Center for Public Policy Research. will publish an additional story each day.)

Melinda and Joe Bula own a five-bedroom home in El Dorado Hills, Ca. The El Dorado Hills Design Review Committee ruled in the spring of 2002 that their house, which was painted yellow when they bought it six years ago, does not meet the city's "covenants, conditions and restrictions." The city's rules handbook regarding homeownership restrictions states that "no primary colors - yellow, red or blue - are allowed." Only beige and tan colored homes are allowed in this Sacramento suburb.

City Manager Wayne Lowery told the New York Times: "If you allow yellow, then when a guy comes in and says he likes purple, where do you draw the line?"

The Bulas appealed the committee's rejection to the city board, which has subsequently assigned a task force to review the rules. The Sacramento Bee weighed in on the Bulas' side, editorializing, "When homeowners such as Melinda Bula give our eyes a break from boring beige, they deserve three cheers and a free pass from the color cops."

Joe Bula adds: "The only thing stupider than fighting it is not fighting it." But the Bulas may have another fight after this one is resolved. The same review committee also claims that the Bulas are violating another rule because the white picket fence around their home is made of plastic instead of wood. "First yellow, then the white picket fence," said Melinda.

Source: The New York Times

Copyright 2003, National Center for Public Policy Research

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