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Tango’s orange umbrellas will stand

Owner says she’s thankful to those who showed support
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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Tango Frozen Yogurt will keep its orange umbrellas. Owner Lisa Swisley previously received a warning letter notifying her that the two orange umbrellas outside her Downtown Auburn frozen yogurt shop were not in line with the city’s list of acceptable colors for her specific area in Central Square. Swisley appealed the decision at the Auburn Historic Design Review Commission meeting Tuesday. Lance Lowe, associate planner for the city of Auburn, said the commission voted unanimously to allow Swisley to keep the orange umbrellas. “Ultimately, they overturned staff’s denial of the encroachment permit and approved the umbrellas,” Lowe said. Swisley said the appearance of the umbrellas in Central Square was the focus of the commission’s decision Tuesday. “They discussed whether they looked good or not,” Swisley said. “It was a unanimous vote, and they all thought they looked good and that they brought life to the corner.” Lowe said Swisley originally applied for an encroachment permit that included outdoor seating, but not umbrellas. When Swisley erected the orange umbrellas, city staff did not feel they matched the colors of surrounding buildings and awnings. “Prior to the Streetscape project being completed (in Central Square), the City Council adopted design standards,” Lowe said. “We didn’t believe (the umbrellas) were consistent with the design standards adopted. We believed the umbrellas should match the awnings.” City staff recommended Swisley use black, brown, dark green or burgundy umbrellas, Lowe said. Swisley said the commission also had a recommendation for her business, which opened in September 2009. “They overturned (the decision), and I get to keep the umbrellas, and in fact they thought I should have three,” Swisley said. “I wouldn’t mind having a third. I’m just trying to decide if it’s going to fit here or not.” Commissioner Lisa Worthington said while the umbrellas are fine, the commission discussed some that would not be acceptable. “We decided unanimously, yes, that these umbrellas did fit,” Worthington said. “What would not fit were umbrellas that had corporate logos, business logos, sponsorships, patterns, those kind of things. We wished her the best of luck in the continued success of her business.” Worthington said another Historic Design Review Commissioner took a survey of customers, all of whom said the umbrellas were appealing. This survey aided the commission’s decision. Swisley said she feels very positive about the commission’s vote. “I feel good about it, and in fact the Historic Design Review Commission thanked me for … being open to new colors,” she said. Swisley said she would like to thank the community for supporting her through the process. “I couldn’t believe how many people came in and verbally gave their support,” she said. “I didn’t have one negative comment about the umbrellas ever.” Reach Bridget Jones at bridgetj@goldcountrymedia.com