Court Awards Association Attorney’s Fees but Allows Owners to Keep Completed Structure Built in Violation of CC&Rs

This case involved a dispute between property owners (“Owners”) and their homeowners association (“Association”) over Owners’ construction of a 2,400- square foot pole barn on their property in disregard of Association’s denial of their request to construct the barn. Association sued Owners seeking an injunctive order for removal of the barn and costs and fees incurred by Association in enforcing the violation of its covenants and restrictions. Owners filed a counterclaim against Association seeking damages based on various claims of wrongful conduct on the part of Association.

Association’s CC&Rs prevented the construction of improvements on property within the community without the approval of a majority of property owners. Owners submitted a request for approval to build the pole barn after they had already begun construction of the barn. A majority of owners opposed the construction, so Association denied the request. Owners then submitted a revised request to Association which reflected proposed aesthetic changes to the barn, but the revised request was also opposed by a majority of property owners and then denied by Association. In defiance of the denial, Owners continued with the construction of the barn and threatened Association with legal action.

After passing a special assessment to raise funds for filing a suit against Owners, Association filed its lawsuit against Owners and Owners thereafter filed counterclaims against Association. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Association and awarded Association $25,205.51 for attorney’s fees, but denied Association’s request for:

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