Kingman City Council member Stuart Yocum wants to round up a painting posse to redecorate a building he says is an eyesore in downtown Kingman. Yocum essentially sought permission to do so during the February 21 Council meeting.
Yocum noted that many don’t care for the garish green color scheme at the Beale Street Smoke Shop that was closed in a law enforcement raid and drug bust last spring.
“I requested this on behalf of several people who are concerned with the current color scheme. They feel it’s a detriment to progress and the general appearance of downtown,” Yocum said. “It appears unattractive and there are those who would like to volunteer their time and material and money just to paint the building.”
City Attorney Carl Cooper threw cold water on any paint party, though he didn’t articulate constitutional free speech and property right considerations.
“I guess the short answer is ‘no, we can’t’, Cooper said. “I know the PD (police department) reached out to see if there’s any way we can work through this process.”
Cooper said he believed the property is subject to a federal forfeiture proceeding and should be left alone, absent owner permission to allow any makeover.
“At this point there’s no action that we can take to remediate that,” Cooper said.
Deputy Kingman Police Chief Rusty Cooper said the department previously tried to communicate the painting request through the building owner’s attorney, but got no response. He said the forfeiture proceeding could tie up the building for up to two years.
Acknowledging that the owner is in a contentious posture with law enforcement and local government, Council members David Wayt and Jamie Scott Stehly suggested that a request by concerned citizens might be better received by the property owner.