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CCOC Decision Summary

#364-O, Marthinuss v. Lake Hallowell Homeowners Association (January 8, 1998) (Panel: Hickey, Weiss, Gaffigan) (Gaffigan dissented).

The homeowner (HO) complained that his homeowner association (HOA was not enforcing its architectural rules against his neighbor.

The evidence at the hearing showed that the community rules did not allow a deck to extend more than 12 feet beyond the rear of the house and that lattice fences could not be higher than 6 feet above the deck.  The HO's neighbor constructed a lattice privacy fence on their deck, next to the HO's property line, that was over 8 feet high.  When the HO complained to the HOA board of directors, the board ordered the neighbor to reduce the fence to 7 feet tall.

The panel ruled that the HOA had erroneously approved the lattice fence application and had failed to properly enforce its rules.  The panel ordered the HOA to require the neighbor to lower his fence to the proper height, with all costs to be paid by the HOA and not by the neighbor.

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