June 2012
In This Issue:
Owner Doesn't Owe Assessments After Covenants Expired
Member Proxies Not Counted Toward Quorum
Insurer Doesnít Have Duty to Defend Suit Against HOA
HOA Doesnít Have Duty to Protect Owners from Theft
Owners Compensated for Loss of Parking Spaces
Parking Space Reassignment Didnít Violate FHA
Combined Lots Canít Be Developed as Two Parcels
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Owner Doesn't Owe Assessments After Covenants Expired

Chipman’s Subdivision Homeowners Association, Inc. v. Carney, No. 1-867/11-0545, Iowa App. Ct., Feb. 29, 2012

State and Local Laws and Legislation/Covenants Enforcement: A document filed by a homeowners association did not extend the term of the previously recorded protective covenants and restrictions because it did not meet statutory drafting and recording requirements.

Carroll and Daisy Chipman developed an area of land consisting of 15 lots in rural Johnson County, Iowa. In 1969, they recorded protective covenants and restrictions stating that the Chipmans must approve all proposed building plans before building could proceed and specified that any amendment to the covenants required a majority vote of the lot owners.

In 1986, a document entitled “Covenant” was signed by five lot owners claiming all 15 lots were subject to the covenant. The new covenant also stated an intention to establish a homeowners association and set forth an assessment structure that required new residents to pay a one-time fee equal to half the annual assessments and all residents to pay $10 per month to the new association. In 2001, Chipman’s Subdivision Homeowners Association, Inc. (association) was established to maintain and manage the subdivision. In 2003, the association recorded a document entitled “Revised and Restated Covenants and Restrictions,” which stated it was adopted by a majority of lot owners in accordance with the original 1969 covenants. The revised covenants and restrictions contained a provision extending the obligation to pay assessments to all lot owners—the 1986 covenant had only required owners with homes on their lots to pay assessments.

E.R. and Kathy Carney purchased three lots in the subdivision in 1997. In 2010, the association sued them in small claims court for $1,820 in unpaid assessments. Carney testified that he purchased his property from a real estate attorney who had informed him that the 1969 covenants had expired and that the association had no legal authority. Carney argued that the covenants expired in 1990 in accordance with the 21-year limitation period established by Iowa statutes.

Iowa law provides that “No action . . . arising by reason of the provisions of any . . . use restrictions in and to the land therein described shall be maintained either at law or in equity . . . after twenty-one years from the recording of such contract . . . unless the claimant shall file a verified claim with the recorder of the county wherein said real estate is located within said twenty-one year period.” Carney contended that the 1986 covenant did not extend the limitation period, and it was not binding because only one-third of the owners had signed it. The court entered judgment in the association’s favor. Carney sought review by the district court, which affirmed the judgment. Carney then appealed the district court ruling.

Carney argued that the 1969 covenants terminated in 1990, pursuant to Iowa Code Section 614.24. He further asserted that the 1986 covenant was inadequate to extend the duration of the covenants for multiple reasons, including: it did not identify or refer to the 1969 covenants; it was not indexed or entered into the Johnson County Recorder’s claimant’s book; it was not acknowledged, notarized or verified; and it was not signed by the required majority of landowners.

Section 614.24 was enacted to simplify land transactions in Iowa by limiting the title-search period. It imposes a 21-year limit on the life of land-use restrictions by providing for automatic termination of the covenants in the absence of affirmative actions to extend them. To avoid automatic termination, a claimant may file a verified claim to extend the covenants for an additional 21 years. A verified claim must state the nature of the claimant’s interest; the manner in which the interest was acquired; and the date the deed, conveyance or contract was recorded. Further, the claim must be indexed under the property description in the “claimant’s book” that is kept in the local county recorder’s office. The claim must also be recorded in the official records.

The appeals court agreed that the 1986 covenant was inadequate to extend the limitation period because it clearly did not comply with Section 614.2.4. The court noted that recording a document did not demonstrate its validity and determined that the 1969 covenants expired in 1990, and the 1986 covenant did not extend the limitation period. Since the covenants had previously expired, the 2003 revised covenants and restrictions could not extend the limitation period.

The association, therefore, could not recover the assessments it claimed Carney owed based on the 1969 covenants and subsequent purported amendments. The court reversed the trial court’s ruling and remanded the case for further proceedings consistent with its findings.

©2012 Community Associations Institute. All rights reserved. Reproduction and redistribution by CAI members or nonmembers are strictly prohibited.

Member Proxies Not Counted Toward Quorum

Demere Landing Condominium Owners Association v. Matthews, No. A11A2154, Ga. App. Ct., Feb. 22, 2012

State and Local Legislation and Regulations/Association Operations: A Georgia appeals court ruled that member proxies could not be counted toward a quorum at a condominium association’s special meeting that was called to vote on adopting a special assessment to fund roof repairs.

Joyce Matthews and James Porterfield were members of Demere Landing Condominium Owners Association (association). In January 2010, the association held a special meeting to vote on adopting a special assessment that would pay for new roofs on nine buildings in Demere Landing.

At the beginning of the meeting, Porterfield objected to the lack of a quorum (the minimum number of members that must be present to make a meeting valid), but the association’s chairperson overruled his objection. The members then adopted the special assessment. All roofs in Demere Landing were subsequently replaced, and the assessment was levied on each unit owner to cover the roofing costs.

Matthews received a lien and a letter threatening foreclosure from the association for nonpayment of the special assessment. Both she and Porterfield were notified that, until they paid the special assessment, they would not have access to condominium amenities and could not vote at association meetings.

In May 2010, Matthews and Porterfield sued the association, challenging the special assessment on the basis of the lack of a quorum. They sought a ruling stating that a member must be present at a meeting for their vote to count toward a quorum. The trial court ruled in their favor, and the association appealed.

The association argued that “proxies (the written authorization to act in place of another) held by members of the Association must be counted toward a quorum pursuant to Section 9(F) of the [Association’s] bylaws.” Section 9(F), entitled “Quorum,” provides that “[a]t all meetings, regular or special, the presence of members entitled to cast 51% or more of the total authorized votes shall constitute a quorum.” [Emphasis added.] Section 10(c) of the bylaws, entitled “Proxy,” provides that “[v]otes may be cast in person or by proxy. Proxies must be filed with the Secretary at or before the appointed time of each meeting.”

Georgia’s condominium statute provides that “[u]nless the condominium instruments or bylaws provide otherwise, a quorum shall be deemed present throughout any meeting of the members of the association if persons entitled to cast more than one-third of the votes are present at the beginning of the meeting.” [Emphasis added.]

The appeals court agreed with the trial court that the issue was controlled by Georgia Supreme Court case Morton v. Talmadge, 166 Ga 620 (Ga. 1928), in which the court concluded that the word “member” used in the quorum section of the bylaws referred to the actual presence of the member to produce a quorum; a proxy could not be used to reach the quorum.

The appeals court also noted that (as pointed out in Morton v. Talmadge) in common law, there was no voting by proxy, and there could be no quorum by proxy. The court found that the Condominium Act affirmed this common law rule that to establish a quorum a person entitled to cast a vote must be present, unless the condominium’s governing documents provide otherwise.

The court affirmed the trial court’s ruling in favor of Matthews and Porterfield.

©2012 Community Associations Institute. All rights reserved. Reproduction and redistribution by CAI members or nonmembers are strictly prohibited.

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Insurer Doesnít Have Duty to Defend Suit Against HOA

Forest Meadows Owners Association v. State Farm General Insurance Company, No. 1:11-cv-01642-AWI-SKO, U.S. Dist. Ct., E. Dist. Calif., April 11, 2012

Risks and Liabilities/Contracts: A U.S. District Court in California ruled that an insurer did not have a duty, under its directors and officers liability coverage, to defend a condominium association in a discrimination and wrongful termination lawsuit.

In May 2008, Michelle Carpenter was hired by Forest Meadows Owners Association (association) as a security guard. In her pre-employment interviews, she informed the association that she was serving in the United States Air Force Reserves. She disclosed her monthly obligations to her supervisor, who had no complaints. The supervisor was pleased by her military service and indicated there would be no problem with her missing certain work days to fulfill her military duty.

Carpenter was ordered to attend military training the first two weeks in September 2008. Upon returning, she discovered she was not on the association’s work schedule. The association informed Carpenter that she had done her job well; however, they were terminating her because of too many guards on staff. She was given a letter stating, “Due to scheduling conflicts, in respect to the fact that you are unavailable during your specified work weekends, we are terminating your employment with [the association].” Carpenter sued the association, alleging two counts of military service discrimination.

State Farm General Insurance Company issued a policy to the association for the term of April 1, 2008, to April 1, 2009. The association notified State Farm of Carpenter’s suit and requested that State Farm defend the association and provide coverage for the claim. State Farm denied coverage and refused to defend the association. The association sued State Farm, alleging breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing (a general assumption of contract law that people will act in good faith and deal fairly without breaking their word). Both parties filed motions for summary judgment (a determination made by a court without a trial).

The association argued that State Farm had a duty to defend the lawsuit because there was a potential for coverage under the directors and officers liability coverage (Option DO) in its condominium/association policy. The policy provided:

We will pay those sums that the insured becomes legally obligated to pay as damages because of wrongful acts’ committed by an insured solely in the conduct of their management responsibilities for the Condominium/Association.

This optional coverage does not apply to: . . violation of any federal or state civil rights law or local ordinance, including, but not limited to discrimination on account of race, religion, set (sic) or age; or h. damages other than money damages.

. . . wrongful acts means any negligent acts, errors, omissions or breach of duty directly related to the operations of the Condominium/Association.

The court found that the threshold for determining whether State Farm was obligated to provide coverage depended on the interpretation of the “wrongful acts” provision. The association interpreted the policy to refer to negligent acts and non-negligent errors, omissions or breaches of duty. The court, however, took State Farm’s view that the policy referred only to negligent acts, negligent errors, negligent omissions and negligent breaches of duty. Therefore, State Farm had no obligation to defend the association under Option DO.

Because the court concluded that Option DO limited coverage to negligent misconduct, State Farm’s duty to defend the association in Carpenter’s action would have arisen only if the allegations in her complaint suggested that the association had acted negligently. However, the association provided no evidence relevant to her complaint that suggested a basis for coverage.

State Farm contended that the allegations in Carpenter’s complaint established only intentional, as opposed to negligent, misconduct; and, therefore, they did not allege “wrongful acts.” The court found the allegations only encompassed intentional misconduct and, as a result, were not covered under the policy’s “wrongful acts” provision.

Because Carpenter did not allege that the association’s actions could potentially be covered under Option DO of the policy, State Farm’s duty to defend the association was never involved. Therefore, State Farm could not be held contractually liable for refusing to accept the association’s tender of defense (the act in which one party places its defense, and all costs associated with said defense, on another person or organization). Without a duty to defend, the association’s claim for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing failed as well.

Therefore, the court granted State Farm’s motion for summary judgment.

©2012 Community Associations Institute. All rights reserved. Reproduction and redistribution by CAI members or nonmembers are strictly prohibited.

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HOA Doesnít Have Duty to Protect Owners from Theft

Girardi v. San Rafael Homeowners Association, No. B231197, Calif. App. Ct., Feb. 24, 2012

Association Operations/Risks and Liabilities: In an unpublished opinion, a California appeals court upheld a finding that a homeowners association had no duty to protect homeowners from the criminal acts of third parties.

Thomas and Erika Girardi own a home in the Alta San Rafael common interest development in Pasadena, Calif. The development is maintained and managed by Alta San Rafael Association (association). Girardi lives in a 15,000 square-foot house that sits on five acres of property within the development. His property is surrounded by a fence approximately 10 feet high. The house has an alarm system and exterior lighting that is programmed to operate from dusk to dawn.

In December 2007 and again in November 2008, Girardi’s home was burglarized. His losses were valued at more than $1,000,000.

Houses in the development are located along a hilly, three-mile road. There are several street lights along the road, but most of them were not operational at the times of Girardi’s burglaries. There are manual gates at the community’s access points, but there were neither guards nor cameras at the gates when the burglaries took place. The gates are always open. The association approved funding to repair, upgrade and possibly motorize the gates in early 2007. The City of Pasadena notified the association that motorized gates were prohibited by zoning codes and the city was unlikely to grant a variance.

In January 2009, Girardi sued the association for negligence, claiming the association had a duty to keep the premises reasonably safe, which it breached by failing to hire a security guard, install monitored gates and maintain the streetlights.

The association moved for summary judgment (a determination made by a court without a  trial) on the grounds that, as a matter of law, it owed no duty to protect Girardi’s property from a third party’s criminal acts. In addition, the association argued that Girardi could not establish that the association’s failure to provide security measures had proximately caused his losses.

The trial court agreed. The court also noted that Girardi could not identify the thief or thieves or indicate whether they were authorized to enter the subdivision. Therefore, it could not be established that the association’s failure to provide security measures caused Girardi’s property losses. The court granted the association’s motion for summary judgment and Girardi appealed.

On appeal, Girardi argued that the trial court erred in stating that he could not prove what caused the robberies because he had raised a triable issue by introducing the testimony of a security expert whose opinion was that the burglaries resulted from the association’s failure to implement adequate security measures.

The court looked to the California Supreme Court’s earlier opinion in Saelzler v. Advanced Group 400 (2001) 25 Cal.4th 763 (Saelzler) for guidance. In that case, the Supreme Court found that, because the plaintiff could not prove the identity or background of her assailants, and, thus, could not show that they were unauthorized to enter the apartment complex where she was attacked, her expert’s speculative opinion was insufficient to show that the defendant’s failure to provide increased security was a substantial factor in causing her injuries. The Supreme Court concluded that “the plaintiff must do more than simply criticize, through speculative testimony of supposed security ‘experts,’ the extent and worth of the defendant’s security measures, and instead must show the injury was actually caused by the failure to provide greater measures.”

The appeals court found there was no factual basis for Girardi’s security expert’s opinion and that the opinion was mere speculation, conjecture and inferences drawn to reach a conclusion unsupported by any real evidence. The expert’s opinion failed to lay a foundation for Girardi’s assertion of causation. Therefore, the court found that summary judgment was properly granted by the trial court in the association’s favor and affirmed the ruling.

©2012 Community Associations Institute. All rights reserved. Reproduction and redistribution by CAI members or nonmembers are strictly prohibited.

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Owners Compensated for Loss of Parking Spaces

In re: Manchester Oaks Homeowners Association, Inc., No. 11-10179-BFK, U.S. Bankruptcy Ct., E. Dist. Va., Feb. 2, 2012

Federal Law and Legislation/Use Restrictions: Homeowners who were deprived of assigned parking spaces when a state court overturned the association’s parking policy were allowed to claim damages against the association’s assets in its bankruptcy action.

Manchester Lakes is a townhome community in Fairfax County, Va., governed by Manchester Oaks Homeowners Association, Inc. (association). In 1997, the association adopted a parking policy that allocated two parking spaces to owners who did not have garages (non-garage owners), but did not allocate parking spaces to owners who had garages (garage owners). The association also implemented rules and regulations that prohibited owners from parking in a reserved space without the consent of the resident to whom the space was assigned.

In 2009, the association attempted to ratify the parking policy by adopting an amendment to the declaration. Some garage owners objected (objecting parties) and sued the association in a separate case to have it overturned. The court in the second case ruled that the amendment was never properly adopted by the required super-majority of homeowners, and it awarded damages to the objecting parties.

Unable to pay the damage awards and court costs, the association filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Both the garage owners and the non-garage owners filed proofs of claim (a filing with the bankruptcy court that shows the money owed by the debtor to a creditor and the reason for the debt) against the association with the bankruptcy court. The objecting parties contested these claims since they were the only ones awarded damages in the state court action.

The garage owners claimed two types of damages: (1) $27,355, the same amount awarded the objecting parties by the trial court; and (2) $35,000 for decreased property values as a result of the policy. The objecting parties contested the garage owners’ claims on grounds that (1) the claims were barred by the statute of limitations; (2) the garage owners were estopped (legally barred) from maintaining their claims because they had approved the amendment adopting the parking policy; and (3) the requested damages were speculative and unproven.

The non-garage owners’ claims were the opposite of the garage owners’ claims. While the garage owners were denied use of common area spaces, the non-garage owners had exclusive use of the same spaces during the same time period. The non-garage owners asserted that they were persuaded to purchase their homes in part because of the parking policy, under which they had exclusive use of their spaces, and such exclusive use was lost when the policy was overturned.

The court noted that an action may be brought as long as there is continuing harm. The objecting parties claimed at trial that the amended parking policy “continued to cause them substantial harm,” and the “ongoing threat of enforcement” similarly caused them harm. Because this “continued harm” affected all garage owners and not just the objecting parties, the court concluded that the garage owners’ claims were not barred by the statute of limitations. The court also found that estoppel did not apply because the 2009 amendment that changed the parking policy never went into effect.

However, no evidence was submitted to the court to support the $27,355 claimed by the garage owners, other than it was the same amount awarded to the objecting parties by the trial court. The court held that the garage owners could not rely on the amount awarded to the objecting parties for the sole reason that they were different parties.

The court viewed the non-garage owners’ claims against the association as claims of constructive fraud (acts or omissions that create a breach of duty, trust or confidence).The association’s representations of non-garage owner’s parking situation—consisting of the rules and regulations, painting the curbs to indicate parking space assignments, and signs threatening that violators would be towed—all gave non-garage owners the impression that a parking policy was in place that allocated two spaces for each non-garage owner.

All the non-garage owners testified they would not have purchased their homes without assigned parking spaces. Each testified that his or her property was devalued by approximately $70,000 from losing the parking spaces. A number of them testified to the great inconvenience of now having to search for a space in the visitors’ parking area or, failing that, having to park on the street and carry their groceries and children from the street to their homes. The resulting loss of value was demonstrated to the court’s satisfaction.

The bankruptcy court disallowed the garage owners’ claims and allowed the non-garage owners’ claims in the amounts set forth in their proofs of claim.

©2012 Community Associations Institute. All rights reserved. Reproduction and redistribution by CAI members or nonmembers are strictly prohibited.

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Parking Space Reassignment Didnít Violate FHA

Solodar v. Old Port Cove Lake Point Tower Condominium Association, Inc., No. 12-80040-CIV-MARRA, U.S. Dist. Ct., S. Dist. Fla., Feb. 29, 2012

Federal Law and Legislation/Association Operation: A U.S. District Court ruled that a condominium association’s refusal to assign a disabled unit owner a handicapped parking space in an area restricted to service vehicles did not violate the Fair Housing Act.

Old Port Cove Lake Point Tower Condominium Association, Inc. (association) managed and maintained a 22-story tower located in North Palm Beach, Fla. Carroll Solodar is a unit owner who suffers from cardiovascular disease and had a heart attack in 2009.

Residents are assigned parking spaces in a garage under the tower. There are 222 spaces between Solodar’s assigned space in the garage and her unit. Immediately adjoining the front walk of Solodar’s unit is the south parking deck, consisting of 10 parking spaces. Until November 2010, Solodar parked on the south parking deck, which is 32 steps from her front door.

The south parking deck is a high-traffic, small concrete lot adjacent to the service entrance. During weekdays, parking congestion in the service area blocks in parked vehicles. There is no alternative parking for service vehicles.

In November 2010, the association notified residents that it planned to convert the south parking deck into a vendors-only parking area. Solodar asked the association to establish a handicapped space in the south parking deck, to assign the area to both unit owners and service vendors and to direct management employees to park in another area.

The association granted Solodar’s request for temporary parking space in the service area, placed a sign designating the south parking deck a “service area,” and prohibited management employee parking in the area; however, it informed Solodar that allowing a handicapped space in the service area would be too risky.

Solodar argued that the association’s actions restricted use of a common element. She contended she was entitled to a handicapped space on the south parking deck because parking in the basement garage or on the upper deck would impose an undue hardship.

The association offered to install, at Solodar’s expense, an automatic door opener from the basement parking garage to the steps leading to her unit and to add skid traction strips on the steps, but she rejected the proposal.

In December 2011, the association proposed three other accommodations: (1) designating part of the service area as a 15-minute loading zone for unit owners to use during business hours; (2) exchanging one of her current parking spaces for a space in front of the building as close as possible to her unit for her exclusive use; and (3) exchanging one of her current parking spaces for a space in the parking garage directly adjacent to the tower elevators.

Solodar rejected the association’s proposed accommodations and sued the association—claiming discrimination under the Fair Housing Act—to prevent it from converting the south parking deck into a service area.

Discrimination under the Fair Housing Act includes “a refusal to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices or services, when such accommodations may be necessary to afford such person equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling.” To prevail in her action, Solodar had to establish that she was disabled; she had requested a reasonable accommodation from the association; the accommodation was necessary to use and enjoy her unit; and the association unreasonably denied her request.

The court noted that the association granted Solodar’s request for an accommodation when it designated the loading zone for the use of unit owners and offered to provide either a handicapped parking space in front of the tower and/or adjacent to the elevator in the garage. Therefore, the court deemed it unlikely that Solodar could prove the association acted unreasonably. This conclusion was supported by evidence that the south park deck was overburdened with service vehicles, and no alternative parking was available for service vehicles. The court concluded that, while the association’s proposed accommodations were not Solodar’s preference, they were not unreasonable. Because she was unlikely to succeed in meeting her burden to prove the proposed accommodations were unreasonable, the court denied Solodar’s motion for preliminary injunction (a court order stopping a party from doing something prior to a trial).

©2012 Community Associations Institute. All rights reserved. Reproduction and redistribution by CAI members or nonmembers are strictly prohibited.

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Combined Lots Canít Be Developed as Two Parcels

Weisel v. Beaver Springs Owners Association, Inc., No. 37800, 2012 Opinion No. 37, Idaho Supr. Ct., March 1, 2012

Architectural Control/Covenants Enforcement/Contracts: An owner, who entered into an agreement with the association to combine his adjacent lots into one parcel, was prohibited from subsequently rescinding the agreement and developing the parcel as two separate lots.

Thomas Weisel owned two adjacent lots in Beaver Springs Subdivisions in Ketchum, Idaho. In 1983, he entered into an agreement with Beaver Springs Owners Association (association) to combine his lots and build within the setback zone (the distance from the property line or other established line in which no buildings may be constructed) that abutted the lots’ shared border. Under the terms of the agreement, the resulting lot could never be re-divided or separately developed. After construction was complete, the structures were located on one lot and the other lot remained vacant.

For 22 years, Weisel continued to cast two votes in the association, despite an amendment to the declaration in 1986 that expressly provided that an owner of a unified lot was entitled to only one vote. He also continued to pay annual assessments on two lots.

In 2005, Weisel sought approval to re-divide his lot and develop it as two parcels. The association denied his request, and the dispute prompted the association to rescind one of his votes. In 2009, he sued the association, alleging that the agreement was void and unenforceable. The trial court upheld the agreement and found that Weisel was entitled to only one vote, and he was entitled to reimbursement and setoff (money owed to a defendant from a plaintiff, which should be subtracted from the amount of damages claimed by plaintiff) for the excess assessments he had paid. Weisel appealed each of the trial court’s findings except the court’s determination that he was entitled to reimbursement and setoff.

On appeal, Weisel contended that because he did not build within the setback zone, consideration for the agreement (i.e., the association’s permission to unify the lots and develop within the setback zone) failed, rendering the agreement unenforceable.

The court observed that an enforceable agreement must be supported by valid consideration (something of value given by both parties that convinces them to agree to fulfill a contractual agreement). Although consideration must have some value in the eyes of the law, the parties can fix their own value. The law presumes a written agreement is supported by consideration.

Weisel argued that the association’s consent to develop the lots was not consideration because the association lacked authority to deny a development plan that complied with the declaration. However, the court determined that the plain language of the declaration stated the association’s design committee had complete discretion to approve or deny any change to the property.

Since the association’s approval to combine the lots was consideration in support of the agreement, that consideration could only fail if the association thereafter interfered or prevented the approved development. There was no evidence that Weisel chose not to develop within the setback zone or that the association prevented him from doing so.

Weisel claimed that the agreement never became binding because the parties intended development within the setback zone to be a condition of the agreement.  The plain language of the agreement led the appeals court to conclude that the agreement, read as a whole, demonstrated that the parties intended it to take effect immediately. It was evident that the parties intended only to communicate that the proposed improvements complied with the declaration’s restriction that views from other lots not be affected by unifying two lots. On the agreement’s effective date, Weisel’s two lots became one parcel, and the association’s setback lines ceased to exist.

Weisel argued that the agreement should be extinguished because changed neighborhood conditions rendered its enforcement unjust. The “change of neighborhood” doctrine extinguishes covenants that restrict entire neighborhoods, not private agreements that restrict single properties. The court found that the doctrine did not apply because the only property in the subdivision affected by the agreement belonged to Weisel.

Weisel argued that the doctrine of quasi-estoppel (the act of legally barring something) should prevent the association from rescinding one of his votes because the association recognized him as having the right to two votes for 22 years after the agreement was executed. However, the appeals court found that the doctrine did not apply because, under the declaration, the owner of a single lot is entitled to a single vote.

The court affirmed the trial court’s decision in all respects and granted attorney’s fees and costs to the association.

©2012 Community Associations Institute. All rights reserved. Reproduction and redistribution by CAI members or nonmembers are strictly prohibited.

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