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CCOC Decision Summary

#450 Walker v. Germantown Station HOA #450 (June 30, 2000) (Panel: Hickey, Gaffigan, Murphy)

The homeowner appealed the decision of the board of directors of the HOA to reject their application to install a picket fence on their lot.

The evidence showed that the covenants prohibited the construction of fences and other structures without approval from the association.  The association permitted only split-rail fences, and one neighbor directly adjacent to the lot in question had just installed a split-rail fence along the property line.  The picket fence, if approved, would have been parallel and adjacent to that split-rail fence.  There was only one other picket fence in the community and it was in a distant part of the association, not visible  from the lot in question. 

When the association's architectural committee considered the dispute, it failed to give notice to the homeowner of its hearing.  However, the homeowner was able to appeal the committee's rejection to the board of directors, which gave him a full hearing on the application.

The hearing panel upheld the decision of the board.  The evidence showed that the board had the authority to regulate fences and that a picket fence was not harmonious in design and in location with the surrounding community, and it would also create a visual conflict with the fence already constructed by the neighbor.

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