The Court of Appeal just gutted the Marquez Knolls CC&Rs. Eisen v. Tavangarian – filed June 20, 2019, Second District, Div. Seven , full text click here.
Paragraph 11 of Marquez Knolls CC&Rs provides:
“No fences or hedges exceeding three feet in height shall be erected or permitted to remain between the street and the front set-back line nor shall any tree, shrub or other landscaping be planted or any structures erected that may at present or in the future obstruct the view from any other lot, and the right of entry is reserved by the Declarants to trim any tree obstructing the view of any lot.”
The Court framed the issue as: “Does paragraph 11 of the CC&R’s … apply to alterations or renovations to existing homes?”
To summarize the 34 page decision, the Court specifically held: “Paragraph 11 does not restrict renovating or altering existing residences.” But the Court also held that the “Portion of the Judgment Requiring the Street-facing Hedges To Be Trimmed to a Height of Three Feet or Under Is Affirmed.”
So Paragraph 11 applies to trees but not additions or structures?
COMMENT: The decision does not make sense. If trees cannot obstruct a view, does it make sense that buildings can? Hundreds of homeowners have relied on Paragraph 11 ‘s clear intent to protect their views.
UPDATE 8.10.19: The Eisen’s and Marquez Knolls Property Owners Association, Inc. are seeking to have the California Supreme Court grant review, which it does in less than 5% of the cases. Nonetheless, effected and interested property owners should support the fight with their own “amicus” letter to the Court.