50 Shades of Brown….or is it?


By Pam Jones, Editor.
A small group of people met last Tuesday evening to discuss some ‘sprucing up’ of the downtown area to make it more attractive to tourists and residents alike.
The meeting was billed as: Colour Black Diamond. What do you think – how could Black Diamond be spruced up?! A fun meet-up to brainstorm ideas for sprucing up downtown Black Diamond! Everyone is welcome!

I spoke with Rod Ross, the Planning and Development Officer for the Town of Black Diamond who said, “I am looking forward to meeting with some of the business owners who are anticipating painting their buildings this summer and incorporating colours to give the town an inviting, visually interesting and attractive downtown area.”

As is the norm today Social Media became involved and one comment on a post peaked my interest. The reason for this was that I had heard and experienced opposing views on this comment’s subject matter. The comment was:

Pam O’B.  What about all of the restrictions ie: color schemes that are in place now, that everyone had to adhere to? I heard that it is extremely difficult and not encouraged to deviate from the ‘plan’ that is in place. What will it take to make changes to it? Just putting this out there for thoughts.

After a phone call to David Petrovich, Black Diamond’s Economic Development Officer, I received a copy of the By-law and a Colour Chart outlining the rules and ‘restrictions’. The By-law (04-15) clearly states:

1. This Bylaw may be cited as the “Historic Downtown Design Standards Bylaw”

2. All development in Historical Downtown, as defined in the attached, shall be in accordance with the Historical Downtown Design Standards as attached.

The accompanying document is eight pages long and details the entire vision of what Black Diamond’s Historical Downtown should look like. The complete document can be read by clicking here.

The part that I found most interesting is the section, almost at the end of the document, outlining the colour scheme. It states:

Colour schemes for existing buildings and new developments should emphasize the character-defining features of the façade and respond to the colours and features of the neighbouring buildings.
For the purposes of the Black Diamond Historic Downtown Design Standards, the General Paint Historic Colour Collection chart is used as a guide.

Here is that guide – and if you count the number of colours permitted to be used you will find that there are in fact 149 different colours available. Quite the choice, I’d say.

2015-04-23 - Historical Colour Guide Swatches_Page_12015-04-23 - Historical Colour Guide Swatches_Page_2

Rod also commented, “We want a downtown that is alive and memorable. Buildings can be different colours and still achieve harmony. Businesses that are contemplating changing the colour of their buildings should talk to the town to explore all the possibilities.”