The parties are neighboring property owners in the Marquez Knolls area of Pacific Palisades. The plaintiffs sued defendants complaining that the addition of rooftop air conditioning equipment and certain wall and roof extensions made during the remodel of defendants’ residence violated the neighborhood’s CC&R’s by detracting from or unreasonably obstructing plaintiffs’ views. The trial court agreed with plaintiffs, relying on Zabrucky v. McAdams (2005) 129 Cal.App.4th 618, a prior appellate decision interpreting the same CC&R’s. After a bench trial during which the court conducted a site visit to the neighborhood, the court entered a judgment awarding $39,000 in “interim” damages for injury to plaintiffs’ views, and requiring substantial portions of defendants’ residence to be ripped out and rebuilt.
The Court of Appeal reversed the judgment in a published decision, revisiting the reasoning in Zabrucky, which had been issued by the same division. The court held that the Zabrucky majority had misread the CC&R’s, and the court instead adopted the reasoning of Zabrucky’s dissenting opinion. The court concluded that the provisions of the CC&R’s restricting renovations or alterations to a previously approved residence expired in 1980, and that the other possibly applicable CC&R’s paragraph applied only to landscaping structures, not to renovations or remodeling of a homeowner’s residence. Accordingly, the Court of Appeal reversed the judgment and injunction requiring defendants to demolish portions of their remodeled home.