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Color Change

Communities have changed

Many communities built in the early years of this century have adapted their color scheme to today's tastes. Today, they look modern and fresh. This increases the value of the properties.

Since September 2023, I have been striving to give Calusa Palms this value-preserving young look. I have convened a meeting with the board members and also held a meeting with condo owners. The majority of attendees were in favor of rejuvenating our community. The only concern was that a new coat of paint would lead to additional costs. Nobody wants to oblige the communities to change colors outside of the regular rotation. But if a community needs to renew its colors - as is the case after about 8 years - they should have the opportunity to join the young color concept.

Calusa Palms VII is due for its regular repainting. As a board member, I have submitted the appropriate request to the ARC and they insist that ALL 7 condo communities agree to the same colors. They make the argument that this is what the builder wanted. However, this contradicts the statement made by the appointed lawyer. Furthermore, the builder has been in bankruptcy since 2006 and should no longer be able to decide on the will of the residents of Calusa Palms in 2023.

Three ARC members - none of whom are condo owners - will decide the fate of 184 condo owners. Why? Because they can. They ignore the wishes of the majority, they ignore the value of our condos - they can paint their houses any color they want. We have seen homeowners repaint their homes before selling and get a better price as a result. We have seen how beautiful John Rapuano's house has become. But they refuse to give the condos a value-added look.

Having already invested hundreds of dollars in paint, postage and staff, I concede defeat and accept that Calusa Palms VII will get the old out-dated paint job one more time. If anyone is interested in continuing this work, I am happy to assist.


in Gateway



The Tides
at Pelican Landing


in Gateway



The Tides
at Pelican Landing



Let's get younger!

Many condo owners are interested in a new fresh look for the condo buildings. The condo boards asked the Master Board and the ARC committee to get approval for a change. 
The Master ARC committee asked their attorney about changing the colors of the condos. Please read the Questions and Answers:



All seven condo associations are wanting to paint the condos a different color to bring the color more up-to-date, like the homeowners have been able to do.

We have 7 different condo associations, 6 with 3 buildings each and 1 with 5 buildings. Each building has 8 units for a total of 184 units.  There are 146 houses.

Please have the attorney provide the answers to all questions and also reference where in the Master Association/ARC documents it is stated where the condos are/are not allowed to paint a different color.

Below are questions that need to be answered before presenting color pallets


Q: What authority does the ARC or the Master Association have over the condos changing colors?

A: Section 11.6 of each Declaration of Condominium expressly requires Master ARC approval to make any changes to the exteriors of the Condominium buildings.   Article VII of the Master Declaration also requires all exterior colors on structures to be approved unless the color is staying the same.

Q: Can the condos change the paint color?  

A: Yes if the Master ARC approves the color change.


If the cost to paint the Condominium buildings exceeds $20,000 then each Declaration of Condominium requires the color change to be approved by a majority of the total voting interests in that Condominium.  If it costs less the Condominium Association Board can approve the color changes.

Q: Do all condos / associations need to be the same color?

A: No not if the Master ARC wants to allow different colors.

Q: Not all condo associations will be painting at the same time, can the new color(s) be phased in?

A: Yes.


Q: Houses are able to have updated, different colors since the original docs were created, so what is the reason that condos cannot do the same as the homes?

A: They can with approval of the Master ARC.


Q: Does each building in a specific condo association all need to match?

A: No not if allowed by the Master ARC and approved by a majority of the total voting interests in the particular Condominium if the cost exceeds $20,000.00.  If the cost is less then the Condo Assoc. Board can approve the color change as long as the Master ARC also approves it.


Q: Does the entire community have to vote on color change or is it up to each respective condo associations / condo owners.  If a vote is required by the entire HOA what is the percentage needed in order to pass? 

A: No.   But within each Condominium the owners must approve the color change if the cost exceeds $20,0000.  The change must be approved by a majority of the total voting interests in the Condominium.

Q: Where in the docs does it show that homeowners can change paint colors?

A: Article VII of the Master Dec. says changes in color must be approved by the ARC.  Section 7.03.

 Note: The individual condo documents will need to be verified by each individual condo association related to their own association documents.  



Additional questions of note:


Q: Do all condo associations have to agree about changing colors?  What happens if one does not want to change?  Can a condo association vote in the next year or two and decide to go with a different color than what they voted on?

A: No, all condo associations do not have to agree.  If one does not want to change then the color will not be changed.  If the color is changed from its existing color it must be approved by a majority of the total voting interests in the Condominium if the cost exceeds $20,000.


Q: The houses have been able to change colors, what is the difference between houses changing colors and condo changing colors?

A: Nothing.  The Master ARC can allow the condominiums to have different colors.


Q: What happens if all the condo associations agree and those that have to take a vote find that their owners don’t vote for the changing the color?

A: Then that Condominium will not change its color.


Q: The Development-Wide-Standard when the community was first built saw the condo buildings all painted one color and homes were painted multiple colors.  Ther ARC does not have a color palate for paint.  There have been some change to colors in homes approved by ARC that are different than the original colors (natural/neutral colors like darker brown, gray, blue and green).  Can ARC use the Development-Wide-Standard in 1.17 and 7.02 that the alteration of paint color is in conformity with and in harmony with the Development Wide Standard, Design Guidelines, and in harmony with surrounding topography and surrounding Structures to keep the condos all one color?  Can they use 7.09 if all do not vote to have the same color?

A: Yes the can use those Sections to keep the Condominium colors all the same.  If the ARC is going to allow different colors it should adopt a color palette of approved colors.



1.17 Development-Wide Standard. “Development-Wide Standard” shall mean and refer

to the standard of conduct, maintenance or other activity generally prevailing in the Submitted

Property. Such standard may be more specifically determined by the Board and/or by committees

required or permitted to be established pursuant to this Declaration or the By-Laws. Such

determination, however, must be consistent with the standard originally established by the Declarant.


7.02 Purpose of the ARC. The purpose of the ARC is to assure that the installation,

construction, alteration or location of any Structure (i) is in conformity with and in harmony with the

Development Wide Standard and the Design Guidelines, and (ii) is in harmony with surrounding

topography and surrounding Structures.


7.09 Disapproval of Plans and Specifications. The ARC shall have the right to disapprove

any plans and specifications submitted to it because of any of the following: (a) failure to include

information in such plans and specifications as may have been reasonably requested; (b) failure of

such plans or specifications to comply with this Declaration or the Design Guidelines; or (e) the

judgment of the ARC that the proposed installation, construction or alteration of a Structure is not

in harmony with the Development-Wide Standard or is incompatible with surrounding topography

or surrounding Structures.


Q: If ARC allows for the change in paint colors or allows multicolored buildings within one condo association or between several condo associations, can they be sued as the developer originally had the condos painted the same color?  Can the Master Association be sued even though they do not have decision making power per our Declaration?

A: Yes anyone can sue anyone else for anything. The real question is will the suit be successful.  If the Master ARC adopt guidelines allowing different colors properly and enforces the restrictions consistently it is on solid legal ground.


Richard D. DeBoest II, Esq
Goede, DeBoest & Cross, PLLC 

Board Certified Specialist 
Condominium and Planned Development Law 

2030 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers, Florida 33901 
Phone : 239-333-3922 / Fax : 239-333-2999  
Our Offices : Naples / Fort Myers / Coral Gables / Boca Raton / Pensacola / Puerto Rico  

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