UNPUBLISHED California Appellate Court decision (April 5, 2016).
This case involved an appeal by the owners (Owners) of a vacant lot from a trial court judgment in favor of their homeowners association (Association) that required Owners to plant the slope on their property all the way to the top and install an irrigation system. The lot in question, which is situated in an exclusive beachfront community, was purchased by Owners in 1998.
Association first brought suit against Owners in 2006 in an effort to force them to comply with various provisions contained in Associations governing documents. Included in Associations action were claims designed to force Owners to landscape the slope area of their property and install an irrigation system as required by the CC&Rs. That case resulted in a judgment in favor of Association that, among other things, directed Owners to comply with the CC&Rs. In 2010, Association filed and prevailed in a second action against Owners to compel compliance with the earlier judgment. Owners then appealed from the trial courts judgment in favor of Association.
One of the issues raised by Owners in their appeal of the judgment that was rendered in favor of Association involved a contention that Associations governing documents did not include a separate document known as the Architectural Guidelines which contained the requirements that slopes be irrigated and landscaped all the way to the top. The appellate court, in affirming the trial courts judgment in favor of Association, found that the trial judge correctly instructed the jury that the Architectural Guidelines were a part of Associations governing documents. The court commented that Associations CC&Rs included an entire article that was devoted to the establishment of an architectural committee which had the authority to promulgate reasonable standards and which required the architectural committee to issue guidelines for use in evaluating submissions to the committee. Thus, the guidelines provided by the architectural committee were incorporated into Associations CC&Rs by reference and were included as part of Associations governing documents.
See case decision:Estates_At_Monarch_Cove_Cmty