April 9, 2018

Washington Court Upholds Homeowners Association's View Enforcement Decision

A Snohomish County homeowner recently proposed to increase the height of his roof by seven feet, which obstructed the view of Puget Sound from at least one neighboring house.  After the Picnic Point Homeowners Association denied his proposal, the homeowner sued.  The Court of Appeals ruled in a published opinion last month that the plain language of the covenants and the relevant extrinsic evidence supported the Association's enforcement decision.

The Association’s covenants state that “no structures, including fences, hedges or boundary walls, may be constructed or modified on any parcel to a height which would … obstruct the Puget Sound or park view of any other parcel.”  The appellate court held that this plainly prohibits any view obstruction, no matter how minimal.  The Court pointed out that permitting marginal obstructions would result in the gradual elimination of the views that the covenants are attempting to protect.