The town of Avon, Colorado is facing some legal drama, as a local business recently announced that they planned to take the Eagle County municipality to court. The problem behind their court case? The business refuses to take down faux shutters the town has asked them to remove from their company buildings in the area.
The Hoffmann Group, a real estate company, owns a significant amount of commercial property in East Avon. The business also has several million dollars invested in redevelopment projects located throughout the area. As part of the new construction, the Hoffman Group chose to add faux shutters to two of their buildings. Unfortunately, Avon’s planning and zoning commission decided that the shutters didn’t fit the town’s character, and instructed the Hoffmann Group to remove them.
In response, the Hoffmann Group appealed the decision to the Town Council. However, after hearing extensive testimony from a local homeowners association, who stated that they strongly disapproved of the shutters, the council upheld the planning and zoning commission’s decision in August. Apparently determined to keep their shutters, the Hoffman Group filed documents with the Eagle County District Court on September 22. The case will soon be brought before a judge.
The company says their court case isn’t “contentious,” but simply a matter of procedure. A spokesperson for the business pointed out that the Hoffmann Group has not violated any codes or town ordinances, simply used a color choice for the shutters that the town didn’t find attractive. The Hoffmann Group says it has offered to change their red and white shutters to another color scheme, but the town refused the offer, bringing about the lengthy legal process.
Shutters are a common architectural feature across the United States, albeit one that may not complement every building. For this reason, many homeowners and businesses have begun using other window treatments in their designs, including plantation shutters, a type of shutter which is installed indoors.
Despite the existence of other options for their building, however, the Hoffmann Group seems determined to keep their faux shutters. Their court case will most likely be handled through an abbreviated civil process decided by a judge, not a jury. Avon will use insurance to cover any legal expenses, but may have to pay a $5,000 deductible. The town’s lawyer, Eric Heil, has estimated that the court case could last as few as four to six months, or as long as a year.