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Case Law - Architectural Control

Bear Creek Planning Committee v. Ferwerda

(2011) 193 Cal.App.4th 1178 California 4th District Court of Appeal upholds an architectural committee's adoption of architectural standards that exceeded the standards contained in the association's CC&Rs.  In addition, the Court ruled that an architectural committee does not have the authority to enact an attorney's fees provision in its rules if none exist in the association's CC&Rs.  The Court noted that architectural rules should seek to clarify existing language in CC&Rs instead of inserting new provisions that bind homeowners without a vote of the membership.

Pacific Hills Homeowners Association v. Prun

(2008) 160 Cal.App.4th 1557 The court held that the 5-year statute of limitations set forth in Code of Civil Procedure ‘336 controls both the enforcement of CC&R provisions and the rules, in a case involving owners in a planned development who installed a gate and a fence in violation of the height and setback requirements of the CC&Rs and architectural guidelines adopted as rules.

Dolan-King v. Rancho Santa Fe Association

(2000) 81 Cal.App.4th 965 The burden of proof is on the challenging homeowner to prove the unreasonableness of an unrecorded restriction. A homeowner challenging the architectural decision of an association in court has the burden of proving that the association's decision was unreasonable and arbitrary under the circumstances.  A decision is unreasonable and arbitrary when it bears no rational relationship to the protection, preservation, operation or purpose of the affected land.  Unrecorded use restrictions (e.g., rules, guidelines, etc.) may not be given a presumption of reasonableness, but evaluated under a straight reasonableness test.  See also, Clark v. Rancho Santa Fe Association (1989) 216 Cal.App.3d 606.

Ironwood Owners Assn. IX v. Solomon

(1986) 178 Cal.App.3d 766 An association must follow its own internal disciplinary procedures before seeking relief in court. 

Cohen v. Kite Hill Community Association

(1983) 142 Cal.App.3d 642 An association must exercise its authority to approve or disapprove architectural modifications in a manner consistent with the CC&Rs.  The association cannot grant approvals prohibited by the CC&Rs.


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