Grand Lake updates design-review standards |

Grand Lake updates design-review standards

Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi Daily News
Grand County, Colorado

Grand Lake merchants and homeowners can paint buildings “Merlot Red,” “Hawthorne Yellow” or even “Evening Sky” if they desire.

Such elements of design became elements of law this week.

Grand Lake officials passed an “emergency ordinance” on Tuesday revising the town’s outdated design-review standards.

No such overhaul of the standards has taken place since they were first adopted in 1985.

Since then, colors found in nature ” as the original law directed ” have translated into muted shades of green, brown and rust on most Grand Lake buildings.

Assembled last year, a five-member design-review committee aimed to modernize the guidelines and allow for more flexibility when it comes to exterior materials and paint colors.

The new guidelines, which were approved unanimously by both the planning board and board of trustees, “really encourage diversity while trying to protect and maintain the community character,” said Abbi Jo Wittman, Grand Lake’s town planner.

A color wheel of “muted natural tones” has been selected as an acceptable pallet for the town.

The new guidelines “allow any color to be a trim color,” Wittman said, whereas “base” colors for exterior facades range from rustic reds to blues and browns. Any color harmonious with the town’s selected pallet may be OK’d by town staff or the planning commission, according to the adopted updates. All design elements must pass town approval, the law states.

The amended building guidelines also phase in the use of materials traditionally not allowed, such as accents of galvanized or corrugated metals.

The design review board studied design standards at other locations such as Jackson, Wyo., Durango, Telluride, Steamboat and other mountain communities, said Architectural Designer Scott Munn, who was a design-review committee member along with Architect Dennis Humphries, former architect and business owner Avis Gray and longtime citizens Sally Daniels and Carolyn Alcorn.

“A lot of people love the character of those towns, and we thought it was appropriate for Grand Lake ” along with Grand Lake’s own unique additions such as slab bark siding,” Munn said.

Other parts of revised standards address: the relationship between future buildings and the existing town to clarify character, scale, quality and function; open space guidelines; lighting standards; and an acceptance of alternative-energy technologies such as solar panels.

In the process of adopting the new standards, town officials also chose to add provisions for Dumpsters.

With the law going into effect now, town property owners will have one year to locate Dumpsters in alleyways or else enclose them, screening them from the public on all four sides.

” Tonya Bina can be reached at 887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail