Property dispute has Wayzata officials seeing pink

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The owner of a commercial building in downtown Wayzata is so irritated with city officials that he's painted his building hot pink in protest.

And just this week, he put up a big sign on the building that reads "XXX," indicating he plans to open an adult entertainment business there, WCCO reports.

Needless to say, Wayzata City Hall is not amused.

The dispute began in December, when the City Council rejected the property owner's proposal to tear down the existing structure on Lake Street, one of the city's main roads, and put up a five-story apartment and retail building in its place.

City zoning rules limit buildings on Lake Street to just three stories, and city officials said the five-story proposal was not appropriate for the location.

Shortly afterward the owner, Continental Property Group, filed suit against the city seeking to reverse the council's decision, and then painted the building hot pink – chosen because it's the favorite color of the CEO's daughter, his attorney told WCCO.

“Hot pink buildings garner attention,” Paul Reuvers, an attorney for the city, told the station. “The city has received calls from neighbors wondering what’s happening."

They are probably even more interested in what's happening now that the XXX sign has been added.

The city issued a statement Wednesday saying the owner did not apply for or receive approval for the sign, and he's been ordered to remove it.

"The property owner has not notified or advised the City of any proposed new use for the property, including any 'adult use,'" the statement added.

"We think it is an attempt to prod or poke the city, so to speak," Reuvers said to WCCO. "We’ve asked them to come work with us and instead we get a hot pink building and an adult-use sign."

Wayzata's zoning code doesn't prohibit adult-oriented businesses, but it requires them to be at least 200 feet away from any residentially zoned property, schools, day care centers, libraries and public parks. There are also restrictions on signage and advertising.

The attorney for the property owner said they plan to move forward on the new business.

The lawsuit is scheduled to be heard in court in May.

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