Following a lengthy public hearing and a near-record procession of speakers, the Sonoma City Council voted 4-1 against an appeal to rescind the Design Review and Historic Preservation Commission’s approval for a bright pink door and façade on the front of Grandma Linda’s Ice Cream shop at 408 First St. E.
Voting in favor of the pink door – or at least the Marmaduke family’s right to use the color, formally known as “cerise delight” – were Mayor Tom Rouse, Mayor Pro Tem David Cook, and councilmembers Ken Brown and Laurie Gallian, none of whom actually expressed delight with the color.
Only councilmember Steve Barbose voted “no,” and he made it clear he would have approved the color on a provisional basis until the city had time to establish clearer and more comprehensive policies and procedures on architectural color considerations, along with a possible palette of appropriate historic shades.
Other council members agreed city policies could use clarification, but no one else wanted to impose further delay on the Marmaduke ice cream business, so cerise delight survived the objections of several members of the Sonoma League for Historic Preservation, who filed the appeal.
Public opinion was sharply divided among the 29 citizens who stood at the podium to address the council. Seven speakers were flatly opposed to cerise delight, 15 were enthusiastically in favor, and a few expressed a variety of concerns about the process without taking a position on the color.
Sonoma resident Rosemary Pedroncelli drew the loudest applause when she exclaimed, “Leave the pink door alone. They’re doing this for Grandma. Let Grandma rest in peace, for God’s sake!”