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CC&R You Kidding Me?: CA Appellate Court Rules Earlier Court Misread Restrictive Covenant Prohibiting Alterations to Existing Homes

July 11, 2019Article
Law Law Land Blog

In recent years Los Angeles has experienced an unprecedented wave of mega-mansion development, which has inevitably changed the aesthetic and character of some of the city’s most iconic neighborhoods.  In turn, some residents have sought aid from the courts to preserve the aspects of their communities that they cherish most.  On June 20th, a California appellate court sided with development over preservation in a case involving a house renovation that obstructed a neighbor’s prime ocean views.

In Eisen v. Tavangarian, a California appellate court reviewed the CC&R’s of Marquez Knolls, a prominent Pacific Palisades community.  The court chose not to enforce a restrictive covenant recorded in 1962 and instead ruled in favor of a neighboring property owner’s free use of land.  Paragraph 11 of Marquez Knolls CC&R’s prohibits “any structures erected that may at present or in the future obstruct the view from any other lot.”[1]  The complaining neighbor prevailed at the trial court level when the judge found that various improvements to a newly-renovated $9.4 million home “unreasonably obstructed” the plaintiff’s ocean views.