yellow “ochre” stucco color

Tuesday, April 02, 2013 6:55 PM -0700
From: gail humphreys <>
Subject: [WCP Alert] Quick Response Requested

Dear Homeowner:

We have an important “maybe” situation.

Maybe we have the wrong color for one set of buildings. Maybe it is
possible to do better. Maybe we can make the change without a significant
cost to the project. Please read and respond.WCPStuccoChimneysApr5

In the 910’s, 930’s, 950’s (?) and 970’s, we have buildings that have a
gold-orange color. (The complementary contrast color is in the beige
family.) Members of the board and the aesthetic committee, working
together, chose a color that we thought matched the existing gold-orange.
The color is called “ochre.” As it has gone on some units in the 910’s,
it has a distinctly more gold look than we expected. You can see the
color on the chimneys of 911-914.

It may be possible to change this color if we decide as a community that
we do not like it. The color would be changed to match the terra cotta
color of 917/918. We need to decide immediately as they are already
painting in the 910s. (We like very much the beige color we chose for
the complement.)
Here’s the plan:
Change the color from the new “ochre” to the 917/918 terra cotta only if:

  • most in the affected clusters prefer the 917/918 terra cotta.
  • a substantial number of all of our homeowners prefer the 917/918 terra cotta
  • the change will not delay the project
  • the change will not take a noticeable bite out of the contingency funds

Please take a look at what is going on in the 910s. Let’s leave this
decision to those who really care about it. So, if you are indifferent on
the matter, please do not reply. If you prefer the new “ochre,” (seen on
the 911-914 chimneys) please let me know. If you prefer the 917/918 terra
cotta, please let me know. Input from the clusters affected will be
weighed more than input from others in our community, but all input will
be valued. Simply say: Prefer ochre or Prefer Terra Cotta.

Please note: Opening this matter is a real risk. We could end up
preferring something that is not feasible. I’ve decided to take the
chance. Bear with us on this. The outcome we seek: happy homeowners.

Please respond by Thursday, April 4 at noon. Sorry for the quick
turnaround. I am sure you understand why it is necessary.


About hmarcuse

I've been an environmentalist since my college days in the 1970s (May 1977 Seabrook, New Hampshire occupation) , and am now a professor of German history at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
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2 Responses to yellow “ochre” stucco color

  1. hmarcuse says:

    Harold’s response:
    Hi Gail, thanks once again for taking on this utterly thankless task (in addition to all the other work you’re doing for us)!

    I actually feel pretty strongly that the new yellow is BAD. I’d call it baby poo yellow and say that it is not only unpleasant but makes our complex look oddly cheap, like we’re going for something gaudy.

    As you note, some people have an eye for these things and care about them, while others have no idea when asked. I feel badly about having insisted on the fypon fake vents (I would have liked a decorative tile solution better), which on some level are silly, but many of these cuts and changes downgrade the look of our complex. (I still haven’t gotten over the bare look once the deck trellises are gone.) It is the difference between going into a bare minimum IV rental ghetto development, and some of the luxury (and gated) condo developments off Hollister towards Ellwood. It’s some of these only seemingly trivial details that make all the difference–and I think even the “don’t care” crowd will feel this on a subliminal level.

    I hope we can still make the change!

  2. hmarcuse says:

    April 8 email from Gail, “Sto color”
    Getting the color right for our buildings has proved difficult. It turns out that small samples do not translate into the same color when 5 gallon batches are created. There are too many complexities to explain. Instead, I have addressed this e-mail to all who expressed an interest in the colors.

    I invite each of you to join me at 6:00 PM prompt to evaluate our choices and make a final decision. I apologize to those who cannot make it at 6 PM. We will have to proceed without your additional input. The Sto product must go up on the buildings on Thursday!

    Here’s the status of the color situation right now.

    They have corrected the ochre color to match the ochre that members of the board and aesthetic committee approved. This is a different ochre from the mustard-tending ochre on the chimneys of 911-914. You will see the new ochre on Tuesday.

    They have not been able to match (or even come close) to the terra cotta of 917/918. However, they are working on it. If they are unable to create a match by late Tuesday—before our meeting—then we will have no choice. We will go with the re-mixed new ochre. If this is the case, I will send you a late afternoon e-mail canceling the meeting. (I will be in L.A. until 2 PM, so any e-mail will arrive late in the afternoon.)

    Hope this is not too confusing.

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