Case Law: Architectural Control

  • Dolan-King v. Rancho Sante Fe Association
    (2000) 81 Cal.App.4th 965
    [Architectural Control; Judicial Deference] An association may grant discretionary authority to an Architectural Committee to apply subjective, aesthetic criteria for approving member applications for proposed architectural improvements.
  • Cohen v. Kite Hill Community Association
    (1983) 142 Cal.App.3d 642
    [Architectural Control; Duty to Act in Good Faith] When exercising its architectural control authority, an association owes a fiduciary duty to its members to act in good faith, and to not make decisions that are arbitrary or capricious.
  • Tesoro del Valle Master Homeowners Assn. v. Griffin
    (2011) 200 Cal.App.4th 619
    [Architectural Control; Solar Energy] An association may consider aesthetic impacts in connection with reviewing and approving an owner’s application for a proposed solar energy system.
  • Topanga Assn. for a Scenic Community v. County of Los Angeles
    (1974) 11 Cal.3d 506
    [Zoning Variance] An administrative agency must render findings supporting its decision to issue a zoning variance, and such findings must be supported by substantial evidence.
  • Ekstrom v. Marquesa at Monarch Beach Homeowners Association
    (2008) 168 Cal.App.4th 1111
    [Architectural Control; Board Powers] An association’s board of directors may not adopt rules that are in conflict with the CC&Rs.
  • Ryland Mews Homeowners Association v. Munoz
    (2015) 234 Cal.App.4th 705
    [Architectural Control; Nuisances; Hardsurface Flooring] A HOA has the authority to place restrictions on the type of flooring that may be installed in a homeowner’s unit in order to prevent the creation of nuisances.
  • Ironwood Owners Association IX v. Solomon
    (1986) 178 Cal.App.3d 766
    [Architectural Control; Enforcement] A HOA must show that it has followed its own standards and procedures when taking action to enforce violations of its governing documents.
  • Pacific Hills Homeowners Association v. Prun
    (2008) 160 Cal.App.4th 1557
    [Architectural Control; Statute of Limitations] The 5 year statute of limitations under Code Civ. Pro. § 336 applies to both recorded restrictions as well as unrecorded restrictions such as architectural guidelines.
  • Beacon Residential Community Association v. Skidmore
    (2014) 59 Cal. 4th 568
    [Construction Defect; Architect Liability] An architect who functions as the principal architect on a residential construction project owes a duty of care to future homeowners.
  • Duffey v. Superior Court
    (1992) 3 Cal.App.4th 425
    [Declaration; Enforcement] HOAs may file declaratory relief actions for an authoritative interpretation of the governing documents; An owner need not be a defendant in any lawsuit brought by a HOA to discharge its own duty to enforce the CC&Rs simply because that owner complains about a neighbor’s proposed construction.
  • Bear Creek Planning Committee v. Ferwerda
    (2011) 193 Cal.App.4th 1178
    [Architectural Control; Architectural Standards] A HOA had the authority to adopt architectural standards beyond those set forth in the CC&Rs based upon empowering language in the CC&Rs governing the same.
  • Rancho Sante Fe Association v. Dolan-King
    (2004) 115 Cal.App.4th 28
    [Architectural Control; Architectural Standards] A HOA’s architectural standards could be used to define undefined architectural restrictions/terms contained in the CC&Rs.
  • Ward v. Superior Court
    (1997) 55 Cal.App.4th 60
    [Enforcement; Recorded Notice of Noncompliance] An association is not legally authorized to record a notice of noncompliance in response to a member’s violation of the CC&Rs.
  • Cobb v. Ironwood Country Club
    (2015) 233 Cal.App.4th 960
    [ADR; Bylaws Amendment] An amendment to the Bylaws by the HOA incorporating an arbitration provision does not bind ongoing disputes and accrued claims.
  • Woodridge Escondido Property Owners Association v. Nielson
    (2005) 130 Cal.App.4th 559
    [Architectural Control] A HOA’s architectural committee does not have the authority to approve an improvement which is in violation of the CC&Rs.
  • Rancho Mirage Country Club Homeowners Association v. Hazelbaker
    (2016) 2 Cal.App.5th 252
    [Attorney’s Fees; ADR; Settlement Agreement] An action to enforce a settlement agreement reached between a HOA and an owner through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) was held to be an action to enforce the governing documents entitling the prevailing party to an award of attorney’s fees and costs pursuant to Civ. Code § 5975.
  • Grossman v. Park Fort Washington Association
    (2012) 212 Cal. App. 4th 1128
    [Attorney’s Fees; ADR; Pre-Litigation] Pre-litigation attorney’s fees that are incurred in alternative dispute resolution (ADR) are recoverable by the prevailing party in subsequent ligation.
  • Nellie Gail Ranch Owners Association v. McMullin
    (2016) 4 Cal.App.5th 982
    [Encroachments; Trespass; Adverse Possession] A homeowner may not establish an adverse possession claim over HOA common area without showing that the homeowner paid all property taxes for the disputed area; Equitable easements may not be granted to an encroaching homeowner whose trespass was willful or negligent.