Court Rejects Owner’s Affirmative Defenses and Orders Owner to Remove Unapproved Wall Constructed in Front Yard

This case involved a dispute between a homeowner (“Owner”) and her homeowners association (“Association”) over Owner’s right to construct a wall across her front yard. At issue was a provision in Association’s Architectural Guidelines that restricts homeowners from installing any walls or fences in the front “setback,” which encompasses the area from the property line in the center of the street to the front of the home. This provision effectively prohibited the construction of walls or fences in the front yard.

Owner sought Association’s consent to multiple proposed modifications to her property which included: Modifications to the landscaping in her front yard; painting; a patio cover in the rear yard; new rain gutters; and stucco walls in the side and front yards. Association gave Owner a “partial” approval of the requested modifications and informed Owner that her request to construct stucco walls in the front yard of her property were denied.

In disregard of the denial, Owner commenced construction of the wall in the front yard of her property and ignored repeated requests by Association for her to stop the construction. After attempts to resolve the issue through informal dispute resolution procedures, Association filed suit against Owner seeking a permanent injunction requiring her to remove the wall. In defense of Association’s action, Owner claimed that Association’s denial prohibited the construction of a “stucco” wall in the front yard, and she was constructing a wall that did not include stucco.

The trial court found:

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