Color fight brews at Gilroy market


Gilroy's Town Plaza Shopping Center is getting a new addition. Mi Pueblo is opening its 18th grocery store and bringing jobs to the city.

"I'm not crazy about them. I don't like the colors very much," says Gilroy resident Robin Bronze. "That kind of sticks out like a sore thumb."

People are complaining that Mi Pueblo doesn't quite fit in. The plaza is painted in a style that blends together, but the entire front of Mi Pueblo was supposed to be painted its traditional bright yellow and cranberry with blue and purple accents, which the planning commission approved until the mayor stepped in.

"It's a wonderful operation, it's got 150 jobs coming to Gilroy and all that, but we must still answer the question of the code," says Gilroy Mayor Al Pinheiro.

The mayor wonders whether Mi Pueblo is following a city zoning ordinance, which requires a building to be harmonious with the adjacent developments.

"To me harmony does not mean you have beige, and purples, and pinks and so on," says Pinheiro.

Shoppers and tenants had mixed reactions.

"I think they should be able to represent who they are," says Morgan Hill resident Pascual Sid.

"I would agree w/tone down the colors," says Janice An from Stubby's Bar and Grill.

"The only color that should matter around here is green. If it's a success for our community, then that's all that should matter," says Ben Carrasco from Town Plaza Barbers.

Gilroy's unemployment rate is 16.5 percent. The council and Mi Pueblo need to reach an agreement before the stores' November opening.

There have been compromises in the past with other stores such as the one that opened in San Jose two years ago. Mi Pueblo reps say they are willing to do the same thing in Gilroy for now, but they don't want to keep it toned down permanently.

"We're not going to let colors stand in our way," says Juve Chavez from the Mi Pueblo store in Gilroy. When asked if they will do all beige, like everyone else, Chavez said, "Not at all, we want to stand out."

The City Council will review the issue on Monday, Oct. 18.

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