Monday, December 27, 2010

Homeowners Must Be Careful and Follow HOA Architectural Restrictions on Rebuilding

CA homeowner associations 

This year's California court of appeal decision in Clear Lake Riviera Community Association v. Cramer (California 1st appellate district, division one, February 26, 2010) clarified that it's risky for a homeowner to ignore the HOA's architectural control restrictions on rebuilding.

Despite warnings from neighbors and the Architectural Committee, Mr. Cramer built a 2-story house that violated architectural height restrictions and blocked views. HOA rules on rebuilding 

The homeowner association (HOA) sued Mr. Cramer who defended and claimed that it would be too expensive to comply with the rule (at least $200,000).

The Association (HOA) was a non-profit corporation organized under the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act (CA Civil Code 1350, et. seq.).

HOA height restrictions 

The court of appeal ordered Mr. Cramer to reduce the height of his house by nine feet and gave reasons:

  • Mr. Cramer's was not an innocent error;  he was aware of the restriction and had been warned before his foundations were poured.
  • Neighbors were harmed because Mr. Cramer's house blocked their views and invaded their privacy by looking into their houses.
  • Allowing Mr. Cramer to keep his violation would cause irreparable harm to the HOA since the association would effectively lose the power to enforce its CC&Rs.

So Mr. Kramer was ordered to tear down his remodel. 

To read the court of appeal decision, see Clear Lake Riviera Community Association v. Cramer.  Source: Adams Kessler PLC, 


Harrison K. Long - Business Solutions and Advisory - REALTOR® and broker associate, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - 949-854-7747 (phone) - (email) - CA DRE 01410855 -  -  -  -  -   -  -  -  - -   

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