Iowa business stopped from painting storefront solid pink

Krista Dolash, founder and owner of Root, poses in the store in downtown Cedar Falls, Iowa. Dolash wants to change the color of the front of her building to pink.

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — The Cedar Falls City Council has voted against allowing a woman to paint the storefront of her local business solid pink.

Krista Dolash says she wants to paint the storefront pink because it is a part of her brand. According to Dolash, her business, Root, sells natural and organic makeup, skin care and hair care.

The council voted 5-2 this week, upholding the recommendation of the city staff, Community Main Street's design review board and the city's Planning and Zoning Commission, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier ( ) reports.

The council voted after debating why they were discussing the matter.

"This sounds like a Supreme Court hearing on color," council member Nick Taiber said.


Officials say that the issue is not the color itself, but the fact that Dolash wants to paint the storefront in solid pink. Dolash says that she never would have opened her store at its location if she knew that painting it pink would not be allowed.

According to the businesswoman, she had painted the store's rear entrance and stopped before she could paint the storefront.

Downtown property owner Pam Taylor, representing Community Main Street, said that they see the situation as a question of the design review process that has been in place more than 10 years.

Council members encouraged Dolash and Main Street to find a compromise. Bob Seymour, the city's interim planning and community services manager, said that the city will coordinate with Main Street's design review board to hopefully come up with a compromise that is acceptable to both sides.

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